This is a new Estate, founded by Stephanie Courtault and her husband Vincent Michelet.
Stephanie is the daughter of Jean Claude Courtault, who runs a family winery founded in 1984. Jean Claude arrived in Lignorelles in 1974 to work as a vineyard manager for one of the village's wine estates. In 1984, JC Courtault purchased 1.5 hectare of 4 year old vines in the Chablis area. Then, he rented a piece of land in the Chablis appellation area that he planted with the help of his wife, Marie-Chantal. This dynamic estate aims to fuse tradition with modernity.
Vincent Michelet, Stephanie Courtault and parents
A native of Touraine, Jean-Claude Courtault arrived at Lignorelles in 1974 to work as Vineyard Manager for one of the village's wine estates.
In 1984, JC Courtault seized the chance to buy 1.5 hectares of 4 year old vines in the Chablis area. Next, he rented a plot of land in the Chablis appellation area, which he then planted up with the help of his wife, Marie-Chantal. And so the Estate Jean-Claude Courtault came into being.
JC Courtault enlarged and worked his vineyard over time, whilst still fulfilling his duties as Vineyard Manager. He began producing wine, and in 1987, the process of bottling and marketing started. That year's wine was rewarded with a gold medal at the "Concours Général des Vins de Paris" competition. This medal was just the first of many awards and prizes that have punctuated JC Courtault's career, a mark of the quality and consistency of his wines.
The 1994 edition of the Guide Hachette gave something of a commercial boost to the Estate Jean-Claude Courtault, after it awarded the 1992 Chablis a favourite buy distinction.
In 1995, with the estate boasting a dozen hectares of Chablis and Petit Chablis, Jean-Claude Courtault decided to devote himself to wine-growing on a full-time basis. He built a wine storehouse that included all the features necessary for optimal operating efficiency.
The estate has continued to develop its vineyard and now boasts a total of 20 hectares in production. This development drive is due to continue, with the arrival of Stéphanie, daughter of JC and MC Courtault, and her husband, Vincent Michelet. From now on it will be up to them to take up the challenge of producing Chablis wines.
The estate produces three of the four appellations found in the Chablis wine-growing region : Petit Chablis, Chablis, Chablis 1er Cru and Chablis Grand Cru Valmur
Some 50,000 bottles are sold in France and abroad.
The wines of the Estate Jean-Claude Courtault are particularly renowned for their strong fruit character, the wine-grower's signature, if you like. These wines are regularly singled out for their quality, as can be seen in the Guide Hachette and various competitions - concours de Paris, Mâcon, Vignerons Indépendants. The Estate Jean-Claude Courtault sells and produces wines that have come from the estate's own vines.
The estate's vines are planted in accordance with the tradition of the Lignorelles area, in other words, every 5 rows, sufficient space is left for a tractor to pass. Planting density is on average around 6000 to 7000 vines per hectare, roughly equivalent to the mean for the Chablis wine-growing region.
This vineyard is sited on relatively hilly ground. Some plots have required considerable work on them before planting, with gradients of up to 1 in 2.5 (40%) possible. The oldest plots have 35 year-old vines.
Grape Harvest generally begins at the end of September and lasts between 12 to 18 days, depending on the year. Our main aim is to harvest the grapes at their optimal ripeness. This allows us to obtain a higher sugar content in the grapes whilst still maintaining pH and acidity at the levels needed to make a well-balanced wine.