This 12.29-hectare estate is based in La Chapelle Vaupelteigne, a village just north of the town of Chablis. Although the Bessin family has been growing grapes in Chablis since the 19th century, the wine was, until 1989, produced at a co-operative.
In that year, Jean-Claude and his wife, Evelyne, took the reins from her father, and began transforming the estate. Their rapid ascent to the pinnacle of quality and renown is not only a phenomenon in tradition-bound Chablis, but also a testament to their finely-honed viticultural and winemaking skills and, perhaps equally, to the growing sophistication of connoisseurs who appreciate the natural affinity of Chablis to the finest cuisine.
The Bessin vineyards are farmed organically according to the precepts of lutte raisonée. At harvest, the grapes are manually picked and sorted during a narrow 10-day window, then pneumatically pressed, slowly and gently. The must is then racked into thermo-regulated enameled tanks for fermentation over indigenous yeasts. The wines undergo a lengthy élevage on fine lees, 15-18 months, with a maximum of 10% new oak. If necessary in a vintage, light kieselguhr fining and filtration may be used.
• Jean-Claude Bessin
• VINEYARD AREA
• 12.3 hectares
• Lutte raisonée