Domaine Jean-Paul et Benoît Droin
The Droins can date their history as vignerons back to 1620, making Domaine Jean-Paul & Benoît Droin one of the oldest domaines in Chablis.
Benoît’s father Jean-Paul put the domaine on the map but Benoît has taken it from strength to strength. He has revised his pruning system, significantly reduced yields, regularly ploughs his soils and since the 2013 vintage, has reverted back to the use of indigenous yeasts. He is less interventionist but practises lutte raisonnée rather than strict organic viticulture. He believes working and looking after the soil is fundamental but wants to step in if he needs to.
In the cellar the principal change has been the movement away from new oak. Oak is still utilised in the ageing of his wines but not systematically and there are continuous small tweaks to the provenance, age and percentage depending on the vineyard and vintage - the maximum new oak used is ten per cent. It is a fallacy that Chablis is routinely unoaked and rarely the case with the best wines - the idea is not for oak influence but rather to balance out the intense minerality, salinity and sometimes austerity that the great wines from this region share.