Owners & winemakers: Eric & Bérengère Thill
Vineyards: 5.2 ha
Vineyard management: Certified organic since 2012
Soils: Limestone, marl
Grapes grown: Chardonnay, Savagnin, Poulsard, Pinot Noir, Trousseau
Annual production: 20,000 bottles
- Eric Thill is Alsatian by birth, but fell in love with making wines in the Jura. His commitment to single varietal cuvées is inspired by his native region.
- “We are attentive to the quality of the wines but also to the quality of the work. In the vineyard we put a lot of effort into consuming a minimum of fossil fuels. Pruning, training, and especially harvest is done entirely by hand.” – Eric Thill
Eric Thill and his wife Bérengère farm 5.2 ha of old vines in the commune of Gevingey in the Jura. Originally from Alsace, Eric and Bérengère established the domaine in the Jura in 2009. “My Alsatian origins influence my work in the vineyard as well as the cellar,” Eric tells us. “It’s in large part for that reason why our vines are single varietal: no blends.”
The vineyards are planted to the typical Jura varieties: 3.15 ha of Chardonnay, 1ha of Savagnin, 60 ares of Poulsard, and 35 ares of Pinot Noir. Farming has been certified organic since 2012, and they seek to reduce the use of even organic antifungal sprays as much as possible, out of respect for the environment and human health. Careful pruning is done with the goal of reducing yields so the fruit ripens fully with concentrated flavors. Grapes are harvested by hand, sorted in the vineyards, and transported to the cellar in small boxes to avoid damage. “In the vineyard we put a lot of effort into consuming a minimum of fossil fuels,” Eric explains. “Pruning, training, and especially harvest is done entirely by hand.”
The estate produces two main styles of wines: fruity, floral wines which express varietal character first and foremost; and “Jura specialties” including a Macvin from 100% Chardonnay, a Crémant du Jura, and oxidative wines from Chardonnay and Savagnin. The varietal wines are pressed very slowly, over the course of 4.5 hours, and fermented at low temperatures before aging on fine lees. The goal is to “conserve the fruit character we worked so hard to achieve during the season,” as Eric puts it. Sulfur additions are kept to an absolute minimum.
Their commitment to sustainability is not limited to the vineyard. The wines are bottled in lightweight bottles made from recycled glass. “These bottles weigh 395g in contrast to 600g for a classic burgundy bottle, which reduces our carbon footprint during transport and delivery,” Eric explains. The synthetic corks are also recyclable.