Located in Chablis, in northern Burgundy, Domaine Francois Raveneau is owned and operated by the brothers Jean-Marie and Bernard Raveneau. At 23 acres the estate is small even by local standards, though Clive Coates, for one, considers it “Chablis’ best domaine.” Harvesting is done entirely by hand and the brothers use no new oak. Raveneau’s corks are sealed with wax, which is also unusual for the region. The Premier Cru and Grand Cru Chablis produced by Raveneau are noted for their depth and dimension, and Robert M. Parker Jr. has complimented them for their great capacity to age and mature.The domaine was started in 1948 when Francois Raveneau bought vineyards to add to those already owned by his wife, who was part of the Dauvissat family. Francois began bottling his wine, an unusual practice during the 1950s and 1960s, and by the 1980s the domaine’s wines were being imported to the U.S. by California importer Kermit Lynch. Francois’ son Jean-Marie started working on the estate in 1978. Raveneau owns Grand Cru parcels in Blanchot, Bougros, Les Clos and Valmur. Coates notes that “What is impressive about the Raveneau Chablis is that (the wines) are invariably very expressive of both their terroirs and their vintages.”
Vaillons is a Premier Cru on the west bank of the Serein River, just west of the village of Chablis. It includes the climats Sur Les Vaillons, Chatains, Les Grands Chaumes, Les Chatains, Secher, Beaugnons, Les Lys, Roncieres, Les Epinottes and Les Minos. The soil is a mix of limestone, clay and fossilized oyster shells.
This white variety originated in Burgundy, but is now grown around the world. Its flexibility to thrive in many regions translates to wide flavor profile in the market. Chardonnay is commonly used in making Champagne and sparkling wines.