Domaine Louis Moreau is a 50-hectare estate based in the commune of Beines in the heart of the Chablis appellation. Louis and his wife Anne founded the domaine in 1994 with half the family vineyards once leased to the négociant firm J. Moreau & Fils. Louis Moreau owns parcels in four of Chablis’ seven grand cru climats including the grand cru Clos des Hospices dans Les Clos, three premier crus, and several plots in the Chablis and Petit Chablis appellations. Louis seeks clarity of site in each of his wines and all his decisions in the vineyard and cellar are meant to bring out the personality of each terroir.
Location of Vineyard
The domaine is made up of an impressive number of premier cru and grand cru vineyards with additional holdings in Chablis and Petit Chablis totaling 50 hectares. Petit Chablis comes from the sandy-Portlandian limestone soils of the plateau above the valley. Village-level Chablis is from classic Kimmeridgian clay and is from parcels mainly in Beines and near the town of Chablis. The three premier crus are Vaulignot, Vaillons, and Fourneaux, each of them in a side valley of the Serein river. The grand crus include Blanchot, Vaudésir, Valmur, and Les Clos. The Clos des Hospices dans Les Clos, located towards the bottom of Les Clos, is bottled separately from Les Clos in only the best vintages.
Vineyards are farmed lutte raisonée with some of the premier cru and grand cru vineyards in conversion to organic. Massal selection is the preferred method of replanting. Petit Chablis and Chablis are machine-harvested. “We’re using the third generation of machine harvester,” says Louis, “it’s very gentle and works well when we need to be quick.” The premier and grand crus are hand-harvested, and whole bunches go directly into the press. Fermentation is spontaneous except for Petit Chablis, and malolactic fermentation is controlled depending on the vineyard and vintage. All wines are vinified and aged in stainless steel tanks except for grand cru Valmur which ages in up to 25% new 500-liter French oak. The wines receive a gentle filtration before bottling.