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.”
Les Clos is a 61-acre Grand Cru vineyard in the appellation of Chablis, at the northwestern tip of Burgundy. With rocky soil, good drainage, and a southerly orientation, the vineyard is generally the most acclaimed of the Chablis Grand Crus. The principal landholders are Fevre with 10.38 acres; J. Moreau, with 9.01 acres; and C. Moreau, with 9 acres. Other notable producers with parcels in Les Clos are Francois Raveneau, Louis Pinson, Joseph Drouhin and Rene Dauvissat. Like all the Chablis vineyards, it is planted exclusively to Chardonnay.
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.