Domaine Chevalier, a Burgundy domain very close to Quebec
When we mention Domaine Chevalier, we are referring to Quebec and to Claude Chevalier, who is well-known and very present in Quebec. Claude is faithful with his visits of the province several times a year, to see more and more friends and of course to promote his products. During my visit, he was traveling home while I was traveling to his home. He has trouble staying put, according to her daughters. It’s Julie, her daughter who welcomes me after her call ended with Claude, in Canada precisely to learn about developments. Julie tells me their story.
A family story, just like it is most of the time the case in the wine industry … The family is always at the origin of the best wines! Their debut was in 1850 with Émile Dubois who made himself known thanks to the honors won at the Agricultural Competitions and Universal Exhibitions of the time. His daughter Marcelle and her husband Émile Chevalier, who after experiencing the phylloxera crisis and the First World war, brought back the vineyard to its perfect condition. Follows the son of Marcelle and Émile, Georges, who was as conscientious and perfectionist as his father. He extended the territory and highlighted the area that at that time was of 3 ha. By passion and love for his profession, he produced remarkable wines. In 1959, he decided to bottle all his crops, selling his entire bottle production. His son, Claude, joined him in 1975 and invested a lot in the trade. At that time, the estate had now reached 11 ha. It is from 1994 that Claude alone takes the helm of the winemaking side of the estate. He decided to update the working methods of the vineyard, such as manure, disbudding and control of yield. After a few years of work, in 2000, Claude made important changes (selection of new barrels, vatting, aging time and filtration) while carefully preserving the concern for a constant improvement of the quality of the wine: his wines.
It was then that Claude was joined by his three daughters Julie, Chloe and Anaïs. After graduating in Viticulture-Oenology in Beaune, Chloe takes over the vineyard and wine with the intention of bringing a new vision, a new and feminine eye and thus bring the field into a new era. The latter confided to me that she sees herself nowhere else than in her domain to follow the evolution of her vines very closely.
The changes are not only the result of Chloe’s work, but also that of Julie who, after her studies at the Reims School of Business, has for many years been engaged in all the know-how to showcase the vineyard, both nationally and internationally. Finally, since 2012, Anaïs has joined them and it is she who supports all the administrative and accounting side, as well as the reception of visitors. After a visit to a cellar as I like them: dark and humid, not pretentious at all, filled with life, barrels and history of course. I complete my tour with a meeting with Chloe who brings me to her favorite playground … The vines! She shows me a typical Burgundy operation: the “béccher”. This operation involves removing unnecessary roots all around the vine to allow it to breathe better.
It is wonderful that the world of wine is changing, bringing forth more and more women in this environment that was, for too long, strictly a men’s one. We can witness different wines, different ways of creating them too, but the essential elements always remain … love and passion for wine!