William Fèvre

William Fèvre is a relatively young yet very renowned producer from Chablis, a village in the region of Burgundy that is well known for its tradition for white wine.

The domain was founded in 1959 and is widely considered one of the most important producers of Chardonnay worldwide.

A Taste of William Fèvre

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The winegrowing family of Fèvre has been established in Chablis since 1750, but the first 7 hectares vineyards of the estate, as we know it today, was planted by Maurice (William’s father) in the 1930s.

The birth date of the brand William Fèvre is actually the vintage of 1959.

In the 1960s and 1970s, the estate went through a time of profound renovation and expansion of the domain. At the beginning of the 1980s, William Fèvre tied its name to Chablis even further with its involvement and commitment to the defence of the area, a role that now has worldwide recognition.

In 1998, the domain was acquired by the Henriot family and the newly appointed director was Didier Séguier, a highly talented winemaker that had built his experience in Beaune at Bouchard Père & Filsestate. Despite being part of a big group involved in many different wine regions, William Fèvre always wanted to hold on to its roots. Respecting the region’s environment and sticking to traditional practices are still deeply held values, which are now enhanced with modern technologies and long term vision, as requested by today’s fine wine industry.

It is believed the connection between this element of tradition and modernity is one of the reasons why William Fèvre wines bring an element of vitality with them, while still representing arguably one of the purest expressions of Chablis.

In 2018, director Didier Séguier won the “White Winemaker of the Year” award.

William Fèvre is not only one of the biggest land owners in Chablis, but also the owner of some of its finest vineyards. Out of the 76 hectares of the domain, about 40% are either Premier Cru, about 16 hectares, or Grand Cru, just under 15 hectares.

According to 2016 figures shared by the domaine, the average yearly production is about 580,000 bottles. In terms of sales, William Fèvre produces and sells 1.9M bottles, with accounted revenues of about 18 million euros.

Export represents about 75% of the total, with only 25% dedicated to the local French market. The most important Countries for William Fèvre exportations are Japan, United States, United Kingdom and Canada.

Chardonnay is the flagship grape cultivated in William Fèvre vineyards, to the point where the domain’s association is thought of as an example of excellence.

The grapes are handpicked during harvest, with a rigorous sorting for both Premier and Grand Cru parcels. There are limitations for yields to preserve the quality of the final product and the vines have been cultivated for organic methods and techniques over many years.

Traditionally, new French oak barrels were used in the domain. However, today’s profile sees barrels being, on average, six years old so as not to tamper with the freshness and minerality that is quintessential to Chablis wines.

Since 2005, agglomerate cork closures were adopted to avoid the perennial problem for Burgundy white wines: premature oxidation.

Terroir is key in all winemaking and possibly one of the most unique features of William Fèvre is the soil of the vineyards. The alternation of marl and marly limestone translates into minerality and freshness, which is almost entirely unique to Chablis wines.

The Les Clos Grand Cru plot in particular has white, stony soil with high levels of limestone and clay. This results in a well-drained site, which is perfectly suited to viticulture, forcing the vines to reach deep into the limestone for water. This is often considered the reason for the intense minerality in Les Clos wines.

According to wine director Didier Séguier, William Fèvre customers are young, working, urban wine drinkers, who are influencers between 35 and 50 years of age. Also, the wines seem to attract young, modern women with an interest in fine dining and travel.

As William Fèvre owns a variety of plots, the profile of wines from the domain can be quite broad, from the full-bodied and rounded qualities of Bougros, to the lively, fresh and floral tones of Vaudesir.

The specific winemaking of the estate aims to deliver a richness that highlights aromatic purity and minerality. This allows wine to maintain its unique character and express the differences across, not only different plots, but various vintages.

In terms of flavours, William Fèvre wines are renowned for fresh fruit, white flowers and citrus. Despite the abundance, the balance tends to perfection, with a unique expression of freshness and elegance that is suited for enjoying and sharing.

Typically speaking, the wines of Les Clos are generally more powerful and intense than the other Grand Cru vineyards, often associated with ripe stone fruit, orange peel and honey.

For you, we selected a 2004 William Fevre Les Clos, Chablis Grand Cru.