That's why the first step in a successful vinification is the vineyard. The training of the vines on organic farming with a very rigorous follow-up enables the grapes to reach their peak level of maturity and expression.
We harvest with a machine in order to have a better flexibility of work. We can for instance stop the harvest when it's raining. With the grape‑variety we have ‑Chardonnay‑, we obtain very good results with the harvesting machine.
Grapes are brought rapidly to the winery where they are immediately pressed. Our installation for receiving the harvest and pressing respects perfectly the raw material.
In the harvesting bins, there is a chamber at the bottom to collect the juice and separate it from the harvest in order to avoid oxidation. Then, the harvesting bins are emptied on a conveyor belt which "feeds" one of the presses. With this system, we can refine the sorting, and the grapes are absolutely not triturated. The gentle pressing allows us to sort the best juices. Finally, on the new press, the bottom collecting the juices has reduced dimensions so that the surface contact between air and juice is as small as possible.
The alcoholic fermentation then the malolactic fermentation are going on in stainless steel tanks or in oak barrels according to the cuvées. The wine stays on its fine lees during 8 to 12 months; it depends on the characteristics of each vintage and each cru. During this time, the lees can be regularly moved to give more fat to the wine if the vintage needs it. In barrels, we move the lees by batonnage; in tanks, we do that by pumping‑over without contact with air.
Racking generally begins in March with the Petit Chablis and ends during summer for the premiers crus. To ensure a soft clarification, the wines are fined. Then we make a light filtration before bottling. All of these operations are done by us.
Our target is to preserve at the most the characteristics of each terroir and to let them express themselves on our precise, pure and mineral wines.
The specifications to produce organic have been extended to the cellar. So, from vintage 2012, we are making “organic wines“ and not only “wines produced from organic grapes”.
DOMAINE BERNARD DEFAIX
17, rue du Château, Milly - 89800 Chablis
Tél. 03 86 42 40 75 - Fax : 03 86 42 40 28