We are in Chablis, the hybrid between Burgundy and Champagne. Remarkable slopes of limestone and clay, here and there the chalk of Champagne dominates.
The cellar of small, top winery Eleni & Edouard Vocoret is located at the southern end of the small but fine Chablis wine region, not far from Chichée.
Edouard is Chablisian by birth as a descendant of the Domaine Vocoret.
After studying and working in the family business, he went abroad, to New Zealand to be precise, where he met Eleni in 2010, who accompanied him back to Chablis.
Eleni is German-Greek with an austrian wine marketing degree. She has earned professional experience and inspiration from Alwin Jurtschitsch in the Kamptal, as well as from legendary Chablis vignerons such as Vincent Dauvissat.
The Domaine Eleni et Edouard Vocoret began in 2013: since then, the two have been managing 5 hectares of their parents' vineyards according to their own ideals.
Which means: Low intervention vineyard work and vinification, working solely with old vines on excellent sites, such as in the limestone-heavy 1er Cru Les Butteaux, of which the domaine only call a third of a hectare their own.
In the vineyard, Eleni and Edouard work exclusively by hand, they both know and understand their vineyards down to the last detail, a clear bonus given the limited operating area.
The biodiversity of the vineyards is also promoted, e.g. by planting fruit trees in between.
Biodynamic principles (without certification) also find their way into the wine cellar: Spontaneous fermentation with malolactic fermentation takes place in steel tanks, "no make-up", Edouard calls it.
The resulting, puristic wines only see old, rather neutral oak barrels or stainless steel, in order to reflect the character of the old vines in their tension and minerality, 1:1.
The wines are bottled unfiltered and only slightly sulphurised.
The domaine wines are La Bas de Chapelot, En Boucheran, Les Pargues and 1er Cru Les Butteaux:
Le Bas de Chapelot
A stone's throw from the eponymous small town of Chablis in the heart of the region is the main site of the domain with 3.2 hectares:
La Bas de Chapelot lies at the foot of the Chapelot 1er Cru on the Montée de Tonnerre, on the right bank of the Serein river, which bisects Chablis.
Deep, loamy shell limestone defines this cool location near the river, where the 40-year-old Chardonnay vines allow Elenis and Edouard to produce very spicy and mineralic wines with a pristine acid structure.
Big glass, some time. A first-class food accompaniment with clear aging potential!
En Boucheran, characterized by white clay, grows on 0.9 hectares between the two Premier Crus Vaillons and Montmains. 35-year-old vines, an open, almost aromatic Chablis, with a wonderfully animating yeast-salt structure.
Les Butteaux 1er
The best for last:
With Les Butteaux, Eleni and Edouard manage a tiny (0.3 ha) 1er Cru site, which is bursting with calcareous minerality. 60 year old vines, massale selection.
Fine herbal, floral notes, cured lemon and that yeasty creaminess dance around, only just pointed in the right direction by aging in used oak barrels. A great terroir wine. Intense and long-lasting. Give it time and air, play with the temperature!
Edit: A lot has changed for Eleni and Edouard in 2023. They managed to gain new Cru vineyards, for which they had to give up parts of their Village vineyards, in order to continue working in their minimalistic, perfectionistic way. We expect great things from both Premier and Grand Crus. Stay tuned.