Athénaïs de Béru - Chateau Béru

The plots of Château de Béru, which has been in the family since the middles ages, cover about eight hectares across the parish of Beru. Athénaïs de Béru has gone from strength to strength after taking over from her father Comte Éric de Béru in 2004. She has been running the chateau with her mother Laurence and from 2005 they have converted all plots to biodynamic (Demeter Certified) or organic farming. No machine tilling or harvesting here - only horses and humans move through the vineyards throughout the year, which is pretty hard work considering the majority of the plots are located on the southern slope of Béru valley.

Exposure to the elements, especially the daily temperature variation, combined with the varied terroir of the appellation (clay, chalk, limestone, fossilized oyster shells) make for some seriously complex wines with intense mineral charm, crystalline texture and saline finish. Micro-climate. Micro-terroir. Chablis. Cue the heart palpitations and drool.

On the topic of interesting things, Athénaïs is one of the few producers in Chablis (or anywhere) to make both minimal sulphur added and no sulphur 'sans soufre' added versions of each wine, allowing distributors to choose from tastings in cellar and select the wine that works best. Intriguing. So, here we have Chablis three ways (all with minimal sulphur) - one that's a blend from different plots and represents the distinctive identity of the village of Béru; one that embodies the unique vineyard (monopole) located within the Château’s walls; and one just left-of-centre, vineyards planted over old orchards rich in clay and aged in amphora - a bit unheard of in this famous region. Bloody interesting. We like it.

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