Domaine Guy Robin et FilsChablis | Burgundy
In the early 2000s, Marie-Ange Robin had a choice. Stay in Paris and pursue a successful career as a fine art dealer, or return home to Chablis and take the reins of the family winery. Her decision would not only change her family’s fortunes but also preserve a critical piece of Chablis history.
Domaine Guy Robin today is a winery reborn. Marie-Ange represents the fourth generation of vine growers in the family. It was her father Guy who slowly, parcel by parcel, purchased vineyards in the 1960s; yet it is Marie-Ange who has brought the winery to a level of greatness for which it was always destined.
Simply put, there are few other Chablis estates with such a rich collection of original rootstock, and as a result, few other estates that deliver Chablis wines of such character and complexity.
Because Guy refused to tear up vines for high-yielding clones as was the practice decades ago in Chablis, some 80% of the family’s vines across five grand cru vineyards and four premier cru vineyards are older vines – these low-yielding, pre-phylloxera vines deliver Chardonnay that is richly aromatic, reflecting Chablis’ historic terroir like a mirror.
North Berkeley in the 1990s brought Robin Chablis to the United States, but as time passed, it was clear that Guy was losing his passion for his craft. After a brief pause in our partnership, however, we are thrilled to be back – and have been inspired by the sea change that Marie-Ange has affected in both the fields and the cellar.
FARMING & WINEMAKING
Marie-Ange Robin cares for the family’s vines according to “lutte raisonee” principles, avoiding chemical treatments and following organic practices as much as the vintage and conditions allow. Some 80% of the estate is older vines; in fact, the estate’s vines in grand cru Blanchot are some of Chablis’ oldest, at 80 years old. Importantly, almost all estate vines are pre-phylloxera rootstock.
Grapes are harvested by hand, then pressed and fermented on indigenous yeasts in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks. Wines are aged in mostly older French oak barrels for one year, with approximately 10% new barrels per vintage.