Alice & Olivier De Moor produce some of our absolute favourite Chablis, and it’s not just because they don’t have much competition (organic farming only accounts for about 5% of all vine farming in Chablis). They seem to us a couple that’s ever evolving, changing approach, and adapting to their land, its needs, and their needs as winemakers.
The two met after finishing wine school and working for the same winemaker in the mid 90s. Neither had vines of their own to tend to, but after inheriting some unplanted land in Chablis following the death of Olivier’s uncle, they decided to move to the region and plant vines on the 3 hectares of newly acquired land. Add on a few rented vineyards of old vine aligote and sauvignon blanc in Saint-Bris, plus a few just-planted vines of chardonnay and aligote in Chitry, and the couple were able to turn out their first vintage in 1995.
Fresh out of wine school, they spent some time farming and making wine “by the book” before seeing the light. First, it was an acknowledgement of the nuked, desert-like conditions of the herbicide and pesticide-riddled vineyards that gave the two pause; in 1998 they ceased using chemical sprays in the vineyards and immediately felt the gentle relief of life returning to the vines. Little by little, the rest followed, and by 2005 they were certified organic, with a number of new parcels in conversion as well.
Since the organic conversions and movement away from commercial yeasts, chapitalisation, and filtration, the two have risen to somewhat of a cult-status, with their wines strictly allocated across all markets. They’re perhaps best known for their championing of sauvignon blanc and aligote, varietals that seem to live in the shadow of the classic Chablis chardonnays, but we feel they produce immaculate wines across the spectrum. And after a few disastrous vintages, they began a negociant project in 2009, which ensures that there’s continuously wine in barrels, and that there’s still wine to sell: something we’re most grateful for.
The wines of the De Moors radiate with wonderful harmony, something they look most closely for in their wines. Always aromatic, with purity and clarity, the De Moor wines cast a fresh new light to Chablis appellation, and from their work and willingness to evolve, we see a beautiful future on the horizon for them as winemakers, and for what they can bring to their region at large.