Domaine Bernard Defaix is located in the historical zone of Chablis, which was established in the 12th century by the monks of St Martin of Tours and Pontigny. The Chardonnay wines from this region are renowned worldwide. The wines produced in this region are known for being fresh and mineral-driven, yet also full-bodied and structured. The entire winemaking process is based on organic principles, and biodynamic treatments are used.
With only two hectares of vineyards in the 1950s, Bernard was the main driving force behind the expansion of the winery that bears his name. Starting in the early 1990s, he began collaborating with his two sons, Didier and Sylvain, who took over the control of the family estate a few years later.
Currently with around 27 hectares of vineyards, all wines are marketed with their own labels. Furthermore, Domaine Bernard Defaix now has its own activity as a micro-négociant, producing wines from grapes and musts sourced from third parties. However, this activity is mainly limited to regional classified wines, with the vast majority of their Chablis production coming from their own vineyards.
At the helm of Domaine Bernard Defaix are Sylvain, Didier, and Helene, who belong to the fourth generation of winemakers. They have an intimate knowledge of their land and conduct studies and analyses to understand its profiles, composition, and geology. This allows them to comprehend the characteristics of each wine based on its origin.
The baskets used to hold the harvested grapes have a base that retains the juice separated from the winemaking process. This helps prevent oxidation of their wines and ensures maximum freshness.
"To make good wines, we need good grapes." For this producer, the first step towards a successful winemaking process lies in the meticulousness of organic farming. They are highly rigorous in their practices and have immense respect for their raw materials.
The wines undergo minimal interventions beyond what is necessary and they strive to be the ultimate expression of each terroir.
The Defaix family has a long tradition in Chablis, with at least five generations involved in viticulture. An important step in the family's history was taken by Bernard Defaix, who, starting in 1959, decided to focus the estate on viticulture. While the vineyards used to share space with other crops, in the following decades, winemaking took center stage, with wines being produced and marketed under their own label, as well as through negociants.