The Chalmeau family started growing vines in Chitry more than two centuries ago. Around 1850, the region became one of the biggest producers of wine in France. Then, at the end of the 19th century came phylloxera and the subsequent devastation of the vineyard.
Some winegrowers retrained by abandoning the vines while others wanted to persist and rebuild everything from scratch. At the time, we spoke of “polyculture”, in addition to the vine, there were cereals, cherries and even livestock.
In 1950, aged 14 and with his school certificate in hand, Edmond joined his parents Aimé and Marie-Rose as family help. In the 1960s, when the estate covered 4 hectares of vines, all three decided to enhance the production by launching into bottle sales rather than selling the wine in bulk to merchants as the majority of winegrowers did.
In 1964, Thérèse left her native vineyard in Beaune to join Edmond and marry him. They thus shared their life…and their different wine-making know-how.
Over time, the vineyard gained ground and diversified. In 1972, Chablis was harvested for the first time. This wine comes from vines planted in the appellation area of Courgis, a small village located 5km from the estate, a distance that seemed like the end of the world at the time.
In 1978, barley and rapeseed were harvested for the last time in order to devote ourselves solely to the vines and the few cherry trees.
In the 90s, a single orchard of fruit trees that had become a family was kept.
Franck, the eldest son of Edmond and Thérèse moved to the estate in 1991 after finishing his studies at the Beaune wine school before being joined by Sébastien, the youngest of the family, in 2003.
From the 2004 vintage , the estate is diversifying its ranges of wines with cuvées vinified in barrels from parcel selection. It is thanks to this solid family tradition that the know-how has been transmitted and above all preserved. Today, the Estate covers 18 hectares (45 acres) of vines.
Chitry-le-Fort is located 13km to the southeast of Auxerre, on the right bank of the Yonne river. This charming Medieval village is notable for its fortified tower and church of Saint-Valérien. It is also a typical winegrowing village set out between cherry orchards, farmland, and 67 hectares of vines.
The village is tucked into an amphitheater open to the west, notched into by small valleys. The vineyard is located on slopes facing north-northwest and south-southeast, at between 195-300m above sea level. The soil is made up of limestone and marl-limestone formations from the Middle and Upper Jurassic.