Patrick Bringer and Isabelle Georgelin are the husband and wife team behind Les Faverelles, a tiny domaine in the semi-mountainess region of Morvan in Northwest Burgundy. After two decades of work as a book merchant, Patrick left Paris in 2001 to seek solitude and practice a new craft. He and Isabelle (who is now the town’s Mayor) settled in the historic village of Asquins, close to Vézelay (the regional appellation for their wines), where they found five and a half hectares of organically farmed pinot noir and chardonnay perched on a beautiful south-eastern slope, along with a medieval cellar that is no larger than a San Francisco studio apartment.
The winters in Vézelay are colder and snowier than Chablis and the summers are among the warmest in Burgundy. Patrick believes that this combination of elements allows pinot noir and chardonnay vines to retain a refreshing minerality, even in warm years. Indeed, ripening in this corner of Burgundy is generally slower than the Cote d’Or, a fact that prompts most growers to chaptalize (or add sugar during fermentation to bring up potential alcohol). Patrick staunchly opposes this practice, believing that it obscures the true terroir of Vezelay. As a result, even in ultra-solar years like 2014, his wines tend toward a refreshing 11.5 degrees.
Patrick and Isabelle’s wines are fermented on wild yeast in stainless steel or large wooden vats (cuve de bois). Whole cluster fermentation and elevage in cuve is preferred for their thirst-quenching reds, such as Nez de Muse, while their more traditional vin de garde, “Cuvee Fleur,” is de-stemmed and raised in barrel. The same goes formula applies to Chardonnay, with the youngest vines fermented and aged in stainless steel, while the cuvee fleur blanc is raised in barrel. All wines are bottled unfiltered with little to zero so2 added.