Domaine Chapelle et Fils is situated in the heart of Santenay, the southernmost village of the Cote d’Or. The Domaine dates back to 1893, when the Chapelle family first purchased plot of land in both Santenay and Chassagne-Montrachet. Today, Jean-Francois Chapelle and his wife, Yvette, run the estate. Santenay’s terroir is unique: limestone covered by sandy loam. Situated at the south edge of the Cote de Beaune, one would expect it to be white wine country. However, the vignerons of Santenay devote themselves almost exclusively to Pinot Noir. In total, Domaine Chapelle covers 20 hectares, the vast majority of which is planted with Pinot Noir. The domain has a production of 110,000 bottles annually with only 5% of this is exported out of France.
I was in France several years ago for a supplier trip related to my distribution business and had an afternoon free to roam the streets of Beaune. I met with an American guy named Alex Gambal who is producing some very interesting wines from great vineyards, but really needed to find a more approachable style and entry-level price point. I knew of the Santenay area from research, but had only really read and tasted a few wines so I thought I'd go to that area by taxi and walk around. I was fortunate to find a few wineries who would taste with me and from that group I met the Chapelle family. They'd never exported to the US mostly due to language barriers with the previous generation and no real need based on limited supply. JF Chapelle had taken over a few years prior and was focused on improving quality and expanding their limited production. My timing was great and we started off in Colorado with some success with their core red offerings.
110,000 btls annually
Limestone, sandy loam