DOMAINE BERNARD DEFAIX 17, rue du Château, Milly - 89800 Chablis - Tel. +33.386 42 77 45 - Fax : +33.386 42 40 28 - Mail : page in English page en Français
DOMAINE BERNARD DEFAIX 17, rue du Château, Milly - 89800 Chablis - Tel. +33.386 42 77 45 - Fax : +33.386 42 40 28 - Mail


A nice and regular growth

 - 14th of May 2018 -

The season has started a bit late but then, thanks to the very nice weather, the vine has grown very regularly. Now we are even a bit early if we compare to the average. We are beginning to tye up on the earliest places (the cote de lechet with its stony soil here above). During the last 3 days, the weather has not been so great so the growth slows down.
The hard period of spring frost is now behind us so... until now, everything is fine!
But, as would say an experimented vinegrower, "never sell the bottles before you have the grapes inside the cellar"... To be continued!

The season starts

- April 12 2018 -

On the earliest parcels, the first leaves are appearing. On later areas, we are at the stage of bud burst. So this year is on the average, even a bit late. But with the temperatures announced for next week, it should catch up.

 We have brought compost; with the next ploughing, it will be completely mixed to the soil.

At the moment, we are making the last phase of the pruning. We have pruned in 2 steps in order to delay a bit the bud burst. Then we will attach the stick to the trellis. Here also, we are not going too quickly as a tied vine can be more damaged by the frost. 


It is also the right moment to spray the 500P to stimulate the soils' life. "Dynamised" in warm water (left picture), then it is sprayed with a tractor which is specifically dedicated to biodynamie (center and right pictures). Right now, the challenge, for this spray as well as for ploughing, is to find the right moment because of the frequent rainfalls.




The 2017's are ending their fermentations

- 22 Jan 2018 -

The alcoholic fermentations, with natural yeasts as usual, have lasted quite a long time as they are now coming to an end. The malolactic fermentations have begun rather quickly, often at the same time as the alcoholic fermentation, all with indigeneous bacterias. They are also almost finished.
So we can begin the first rackings. As for the 2016's, the wines have really refined during the malolactic and are showing very good structures.
The red Rully's are also very nice to taste with plenty of fruit.
It was our first vinification on our new barrel cellar and the promises were kept in terms of work comfort. And it seems that the wines were "comfortable" too as the fermentations took place perfectly well.

In the vineyard, the pruning is going on on weather conditions not very pleasant, very rainy and windy. For now, we have had a lot of rain but no real winter -unlike other areas in the world-  except few days of frost at the end of 2017.


Volumes clearly short for the whites, but a wonderful quality

- 9th of October 2017 -

The new barrels cellar

In Rully we have begun harvesting on Monday 4th of September.
For the whites, the volumes are low because of a very low juice yield.
But the quality is here: very good potential alcohol and great acidities so an excellent balance.
For the reds, it is a very good vintage with both quantity and quality. The wines were drawn off after 3 weeks of maceration/fermentation.
We could compare this vintage to 1999's reds in terms of balance and volume.

In Chablis, we have harvested from Monday 11th of September with an optimum maturity. We had to wait enough in order to reach a very good content of sugar but not too much
in order to keep a good level of acidity.
Regarding the quantity, it is unfortunately at the same level than in 2016. We have had no miracle on the frosted parcels... On the "safe" parcels, the frost also had a
consequence with a very uneven flowering. The flower abortion has also been more intense because of the very high temperatures during this period.
And, to complete the picture, we had again few days very hot at the end of August; this has literally emptied the berries.
At the end, the skins and the pulps were very thick with a very low juice yield.
Regarding the quality, the balance is excellent and a big vintage is announced.

So we have lived once again a very short year in Chablis and, to a smaller extent, on the white Rully's, which is difficult for the whole team.
As the work done in the vineyard throughout the year remains the same, difficult and demanding, it is very frustrating for all of us not to reap the fruits of our labour.
Hopefully, the situation was better for the red Rully's and the global quality for this vintage is at a very high level!



Devastating spring frosts this year again in Chablis

-  24th of April 2017 -

As in 2016, the beginning of the season is very difficult. Last week, we have had several nights of frost. The damages are already significant, at least equivalent to last year. And the forecasts for the coming days are quite pessimistic. Fortunately, we have a very active support from the kids. They are now on Eastern vacation and they have helped us several nights last week. Many thanks to our brave assistants!


We have used candles we had on stock for more than 10 ans. Unfortunately, there are all consumed now and it is almost impossible to find new ones. So, on a lot of domains in Chablis, everyone tries to protect his vines as they can with what they have: straw, wood,... In case of strong frosts, it is probably not very efficient but the few tenth winned certainly allow to save few buds.

On our parcels without protection,  the losses are still difficult to estimate but should be between 40 to 100%. On the parcels with a protection by spraying water or by candles -around 20% of the domain-, for the moment we have limited the damages with a loss around 20%.


17, rue du Château, Milly - 89800 Chablis
Tél. 03 86 42 40 75 - Fax : 03 86 42 40 28