Many viticultural regions in France serve as benchmarks for the rest of the world, and Chablis is numbered among them. The landscape surrounding this idyllic Burgundian village has been planted with vines for centuries. At some point in the distant past, the local residents and farmers discovered the wonderful symbiosis between Chardonnay and the Kimmeridgian limestone soils of this rolling, bucolic land. So distant are the Chardonnays from these hills that they have come to represent a style of Chardonnay from innumerable places outside of the Chablis itself. Many will say that their wines are chablisienne, or inspired by the wines of Chablis. Imitation is, after all, the sincerest form of flattery. There are fewer and fewer bargains in Chablis these days as more and more growers turn to industrial styles of farming and winemaking. Yet despite these market pressures, there remain a handful of faithful producers and families in Chablis. The Droin family is one of these.
Father Jean-Paul and son Benoit Droin can trace their family roots as vineyard owners back to the early 17th century, making their family one of the oldest in Chablis. Jean-Paul took over the family business in 1983 with the help of his wife Catherine, who gave up her job to manage the running of the business and the marketing of its wines. Benoit, their youngest son, joined team in 1999 after having spent five years studying for the National Diploma of Oenology at Beaune and the University of Dijon, representing the fourteenth generation to start at the Domain. Jean-Paul and Benoit Droin was officially created on November 1st, 2002 and currently consists of more than 25 hectares spread over four appellations. Despite the general shift towards replacing old vines to make space for machine harvesting, the Droin family stays true to the principles upon which they were founded and continue to harvest their best sites and oldest wines by hand.