Upon his completion of wine school in Beaune, Roland Lavantureux founded the domaine in 1978 in the village of Lignorelles north-west of Chablis. Roland’s two sons, David and Arnaud, work this 20ha lutte raisonnée Domaine. Ferments are temperature controlled in stainless steel and all but the Petit-Chablis sees a short time in 2 to 6-year-old barriques. Whilst the Vaudésir is a mighty Grand Cru the signature wine of the Domaine is the lieu dit ‘Vau Prin’ which is one of the highest vineyards in Chablis and transposes an extreme mineral puissance.
The Chablis region is best known for its Kimmeridgian soils, a highly prized terroir of limestone and clay infused with tiny, fossilized oysters. The intensely chalky sea-shell minerality lends deep complexity to whites, making this region an ideal home for the Chardonnay grape. The Portlandian soils in the extension of the Chablis appellation, known as Petit Chablis, may not enjoy the same reputation as the Kimmeridgian, yet they imbue the wines with a crisp, lively freshness and zesty, citrusy aromas that speak to the deep mineral component of northern Burgundy. There is no accounting for these imaginary appellation boundaries, because the pedigree of the wines is palpable. As Roland once told Kermit, “I don’t know why the INAO named some vines ‘Chablis’ and others ‘Petit.’ When I stand in the middle of my vineyard, the row to my left is Chablis, to the right it is Petit Chablis, but you can’t see any difference.” (Kermit Lynch)