Domaine Gautheron

Petit Chablis
1er Cru Chablis
Grand Cru Chablis
Cyril Gautheron

Cyril Gautheron is the sixth generation in his family to cultivate vines in Fleys, a village of 160 inhabitants. The winery and family home are located directly across from the 1er Cru “Côte des Pres Girots” vineyard. At one time, the inhabitants of Fleys were called “Gougueys” from the dialect word for the fossilized snails that are prevalent in the area and in fact the Gautherons have some extraordinary examples exhibited in their tasting room. The Gautheron domain is 22 hectares divided among 40 parcels which include a small parcel in Petit-Chablis, 14 hectares in Chablis, 7.5 hectares in 1er Cru Chablis (Les Fourneaux, Mont de Milieu, Vaucoupin, Vaillons, Montmains, L’Homme Mort) and a small parcel in Grand Cru “Valmur”.

Harvesting is done mostly by machine except where the terrain does not permit, in which case the grapes are picked by hand. Cyril has two modern “bladder” presses so that he can limit oxidation by avoiding any wait time for the harvested grapes and allow the grapes to be very slowly and gently pressed. He moves the juice from the presses to the tanks by gravity and throughout the entire winemaking process, he tries to minimize the use of pumps.

Except for the Grand Cru “Valmur”, all grapes are fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel vats. Cyril does his cellar work and bottling in accordance with atmospheric pressure and moon cycles. The wines stay in contact with the lees for four to nine months after which they are fined, lightly filtered, and then bottled. Despite all of the investment in modern equipment, Cyril takes a traditional approach to making Chablis as exemplified in the simplicity of his methods and the maturing of the wine before bottling. In 2016, he was recognized as the best young winemaker in the Yonne by the C.I.V.B.


The Chablis is produced by blending more than 20 different parcels that are spread throughout the south-eastern quadrant of Chablis. For the most part, parcels are kept separate in the winery until the blending in the spring. While the winemaking choices produce a very focused wine, the diversity of terroirs brings a charming complexity.

Chablis “Cuvée Emeraude”

The cuvée “Emeraude” is produced from a single, one-hectare parcel that Cyril farms organically. It was meant to be a test plot for organic farming, but the results were so compelling that Cyril decided to make a small single vineyard bottling.

Chablis 1er Cru “Les Fourneaux”

The A.O.C. laws for 1er Cru Chablis allow 40 different vineyards to use just 17 names, the idea being to simplify the nomenclature. In keeping with this practice, the Gautheron’s 3.5 hectares of 1er Cru vineyards in the commune of Fleys, “Les Fourneaux”, “Côte des Prés Girots” and “Le Morein” are blended and bottled as “Les Fourneaux”. The vines range in age from 15 to 45 years. The wine is aromatic and flavors of minerality are set against a broad palate resulting from extended lies aging.

Chablis 1er Cru "Mont de Milieu"

The name of this vineyard is a vestige from when its surrounding hills formed a natural boundary between the duchies of Champagne and Burgundy. The vineyard’s steep incline and south/south-east facing typically offers Cyril a harvest that produces a rich and well balanced wine that has great potential to improve with a few years of bottle age.


Each year, for 25 years, at the festival Grands Jours de Bourgogne, the "Group of Young Wine Professionals" (GJVP) hosts a competitive exposition of wine from young winemakers the Salon des Jeunes Talents. In a blind tasting a winner is chosen from each of the 5 growing regions in Burgundy.

In this years expo, held at the Château de Garnerot in Mercurey, Thursday March 24th , 3 winemakers from Wine Traditions’ portfolio participated in the competition.

The results are announced : It’s a full sweep! All three of them are the 2015 trophy winners for their region!!!

We congratulate Cyril Gautheron winner for the Chablisien, Felix Debavalaere, Domaine Rois Mages winner for the Côte Chalonnaise and Romuald Petit winner for the Mâconnais.

Romuald PetitCyril Gautheron

Region: Bourgogne

The wine region of Burgundy extends from the town of Chatillon sur Seine in the north to Lyon in the south, though; I prefer to put the southern boundary at Macon, and in this way leave the Beaujolais region as a separate entity. Thus, Burgundy includes the wine regions of Côtes de Chatillon, Yonne, Côte d’Or, Côte Chalonnaise, Côtes du Couchey and Maconnais. The vast majority of Burgundy’s wines are produced from three grape varieties: Aligoté, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and they are produced without blending the different grape types. The result, therefore, is a mapping of these three grape types onto the whole range of Burgundy’s vineyards which consequently offers the wine lover a unique window through which to notice and appreciate the concept of terroir. The difference in taste between Chardonnay grown in Chablis and Chardonnay grown in Macon is something that will always delight me...

The Burgundy vineyards have been intimately worked and studied for many centuries which has resulted in a complex and highly detailed system of nomenclature, one that beginning in the 1930’s the INAO has tried to formalize into a logical network of “appellations controlees”. The system of appellations is uniform in its general outline for Burgundy’s different wine regions, but much less uniform in its application. For example, each of the Premier Cru vineyards in the Côte D’Or and Côte Chalonnaise is associated with its village of origin and corresponds specifically to one plot of land within that village, whereas in the Yonne or Chablis to be exact, the Premier Cru vineyards never make reference to their villages of origin and moreover, the 79 Premier Cru vineyards typically use only 17 names. So, putting differences aside and embracing contradiction, one can say with confidence that the overall appellation structure is organized from the general to the specific. At the most general level, vineyards from any of the Burgundy wine regions can produce white, red, rosé or sparkling wines with the Bourgogne appellation. At the first level of specificity (and beginning of disparity among the regions), there are 24 regional appellations, each of which is comprised of a group of villages which share a common appellation name. Two examples, which illustrate the possible variation in size, are Côtes de Nuits Villages and Macon-Villages. Côtes de Nuits Villages includes nine villages whereas Macon-Villages includes 83 villages. At the next level of specificity, there are 44 local appellations, each of which corresponds to a specific village such as Gevrey-Chambertin and Chassagne-Montrachet. Within the local appellation structure, but higher up the hierarchal scale, there are 750 Premier Cru appellations which mark specific vineyard boundaries within a particular village. Examples are Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru “Petite Chapelle” and Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru“Les Chenevottes”. At the highest level of the paradigm, there are 33 Grand Cru appellations which similarly mark specific vineyard boundaries within a specific village (or spanning two!).

Examples of Grand Cru vineyards are Mazis-Chambertin and Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet. One of the lovely idiosyncrasies is evident from these examples; namely, why the grand cru vineyard “climat” names Chambertin and Montrachet are attached to their respective communes at all appellation levels.

If one is interested and persistent enough to comprehend the lay of the land in terms of its geography, geology and nomenclature, the picture quickly becomes much more complex when the land is divided between the many thousands of Burgundian wine-growers. The average land holding in Burgundy is two hectares (five acres) and in some of the most illustrious vineyards such as Batard-Montrachet a mere twelve hectares can be divided among 55 growers.

A deep knowledge of the wines produced in Burgundy, it is easy to see, would be best left up to those who have lots of free time. People that are teachers or NBA basketball players might have enough vacation time to tackle such a project, but only the NBA player would have the money to taste the wines. Happily, even without four months of vacation or enormous resources, the wines of Burgundy are there to give us all the taste of one of the vine’s favorite places on earth.

Burgundy wine growers certainly have no special claim to the concept of terroir, but they have embraced the notion of terroir in a way that brings it to our attention and gives us much to think about. If our attention is turned to the infinite variations of our mother earth and its ability to give these variations expression through the grape vine and its transformation into wine, then what a lovely reminder that we are from the earth, nourished by the earth and will return to it.