Florence & François Bachelier
Villy, Chablis, Burgundy

Lyle Railsback, France+Western Importer: "Florence and François. A love story for the ages. And Chablis. A wine that like the best of stories can take a while to unfold.

The fourteen years that I spent working for other US importers of French wine were my greatest education in the wine trade, and I will be forever grateful for all the opportunities they gave me over those years, particularly when it comes to the wines of Chablis.

The first wine that one of my mentors ever tasted and ordered in France was a Chablis-- specifically the 1973 vintage from Maurice Fèvre, and long before he discovered François Raveneau who was later described in one of his early newsletters as "coldhearted," and "the crusty old misanthrope" who would only sell his Premier Cru Chablis to the U.S. before eventually offering some Grand Cru Valmur.

Raveneau also played an early role in my wine career as I was lucky to discover it during my retail days in Portland, Oregon (back when you could actually buy a few bottles). It was the Chablis that introduced me to Chablis. At the time I never dreamed that I would someday visit the cellars of Raveneau, later get to know Isabelle and her father Bernard (François' son), and then actually import some Chablis of my own finding one day.

In the spirit of my adventure in Chablis, I am super excited to now introduce the Chablis from Florence and François Bachelier to our shores. Florence is a cousin to another producer I used to work with in Chablis, and with her husband François they are 8th generation farmers of eighteen hectares in Villy. Most of their vines are over 60-year-old vines -- and included in their modest holdings is a tiny slice of the Chablis Premier Cru "Les Fourneaux." Their old-vine and Premier Cru bottlings are aged in mostly old barrels, while their textbook AOC Chablis is aged exclusively in tanks.

Given the short yields in 2021 they are only releasing a small amount of 2020 and 2019 now, holding back some cases to have something to sell next year. We are loading the entirety of our allocation from these two vintages onto a container as soon as possible, so please sign up for our newsletter to be advised of their arrival."

Wines available:
Chablis Premier Cru "Les Fourneaux"
Chablis Vieilles Vignes