Château de Béru

France - Chablis

It was out of respect for the rich history of the terroir that Château De Béru decided to convert to organic and biodynamic winemaking. The Béru family have owned the estate for 400 years, and even writings by 9th century monks note the vineyards growing here. It was during the Middle Ages that the wines here received international appreciation, often appearing on royal tables. This was also when the 13th century chateau was built, along with the walled vineyard, Clos Béru, a cuvee of which is still made. There was a hiatus in production, however, following the devastation of the phylloxera outbreak in the late 19th century. It wasn’t until 1987 that Comte Éric de Béru decided to replant all of the vines, including Clos Béru. The first vines were planted by the Romans, probably in the 1st century, but part of its uniqueness has its roots even further back than that, about 150 million years, in fact. The Kimmeridgian soil is peppered with fossilised oyster shells from the Jurassic era.

Despite its long history, current owners Laurence de Béru and her daughter, Athénaïs, were aware that the soil was fragile, and that its survival depended on moving away from damaging conventional farming techniques. The fertilisers, pesticides and damage brought on through use of tractors were gradually destroying the microorganisms in the soil that had served winemakers so well for so long. Since 2005, only organic methods have been used on the estate, and from 2010 they began to convert to biodynamic practises. Now only a limited amount of natural chemical intervention is used, such as treatment with sulphur, and a horse ploughs the soil, rather than a tractor. It hasn’t always been easy for the family – in 2016, for example, they lost all of their crops to a late April frost. But despite this, the estate has recovered and continues to build on its already steadfast reputation.

The 12 hectare estate is located on the southern slopes of the Béru Valley, on the Chablis Grand Cru foothills, some 300 metres above sea level. Along with the ancient oyster shells, the soil is made up of clay and limestone. Some 6,000 vines are planted per hectare.

Some of the notable wines made at Château De Béru include the Clos Béru Monopole, Chablis Orangerie, Chablis Montserre and Côte Aux Prêtres. The Clos Béru Monopole is the product of the famous Clos Béru parcel. This 100 per cent Chardonnay varietal is grown in the ancient walled vineyard on rocky soils of limestone. The vines grow on hillslopes at 300 metres above sea level, facing south and southwest on some of the stoniest soils in Chablis. The grapes are harvested in 10 kilogram containers to avoid damage, and are then put in a pneumatic press where they are pressed gently. The musts are then fermented in old oak barrels for 18 months, without filtration or fining. The result is a wine with a truly unique personality, with mineral notes expressing its flinty soils and a finish of lime and acacia.

The Chablis Orangerie is a powerful Chablis from another parcel in the Château De Béru, which expresses ripe fruit aromas and a stony limestone minerality. The clay and limestone soils bring out this harmony of the terroir, as does the careful vinification process, which involves hand-harvesting into 10 kilogram containers, gentle pneumatic pressing and 18-month barrel aging.

Chablis Montserre is made from a single vineyard of Chardonnay on the flatlands of Béru, the soils of which contain mainly limestone with sharp rocky fragments. This natural wine has no sulphites at all, and has the potential to age ten to 15 years. It is powerful, intense and very drinkable.

Côte Aux Prêtres is made with Chardonnay grapes from the windiest vineyard of Château De Béru, in deep calcium-rich soil. The wine has a slight salinity.

Athénaïs de Béru also set up the Athénaïs brand in order to increase the variety of wines at Château De Béru. The wines with the Athénaïs label are made with grapes specially selected from local Burgundy vineyards that are then vinified at Château De Béru. The vineyards are all organic, or in the process of becoming organic, and the vinification process is without additional yeast, fining or filtration.

Château de Béru Winelist

Vintages & Larger Formats

Chablis "Terroirs de Beru" Login Bottle (75cl) 2017
Chablis "Montserre" Login Bottle (75cl) 2017
Chablis "Côtes aux Prêtres" Login Bottle (75cl) 2017
Chablis "Côtes aux Prêtres" Login Magnum (1.5L) 2015
Chablis "Côtes aux Prêtres" Login Magnum (1.5L) 2014
Chablis 1er Cru "Vaucoupin" Login Magnum (1.5L) 2015
Chablis 1er Cru "Vaucoupin" Login Magnum (1.5L) 2014
Chablis "Clos Béru" Monopole Login Magnum (1.5L) 2015
Chablis "Clos Béru" Monopole Login Magnum (1.5L) 2014
Chablis "Clos Béru" Monopole Login Jeroboam (3L) 2013
Chablis "Clos Béru" Monopole Login Magnum (1.5L) 2012
Chablis "Clos Béru" Monopole Login Jeroboam (3L) 2011

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