September 24, 2020 by Alyssa Taylor
Domaine de Oliveira Lecestre
The De Oliveira Family emigrated from Portugal to Chablis at the early part of the 20th century, long before Chablis became famous as a winemaking region. The family found work in the local logging industry, and produced a bit of wine on the side. In the 1950s, his son Mr. De Oliveira began working in the vines for William Fèvre at the age of 14 years old. After ten years, he saved enough to purchase his first parcel of land – a mere 33 ares, and he planted his first vineyard. Over the years, he continued to purchase land and plant new vineyards, and in 1965, he began working full time at his own domaine which had grown to 7 hectares, and created the Domaine Oliveira Lecestre with his brother in law. At this time in Chablis, many winemakers did more than grow grapes, and the De Oliveiras were no exception. They raised cows, chickens and pigs around the family domaine in the morning and evening, and spent the weekends tending to the wheatfields. It wasn’t until the 1990s that Mr De Oliveira gave up polyculture to concentrate exclusively on winemaking.Throughout the decades, the appellation of Chablis was slowly expanded, and Mr. De Oliveria judiciously purchased land that he could someday plant as Chablis (or even Premier Cru). Today the domaine encompasses 50 hectares of vines spread out over Petit Chablis (8 hectares), Chablis (35 hectares), Chablis Premier Cru (4.29 hectares), and Grand Cru (0.28 hectares).The wines are vinified and aged exclusively in stainless steel tanks, and reflect the perfect typicity of Chablis. The Petit Chablis is particularly noteworthy, as it comes from vineyards located on the plateau just a stone’s throw from Les Clos Grand Cru.Today Mr. De Oliveira is officially retired, but he continues to be an active presence at the domaine which is run by his son-in-law Benjamin Quevreux, daughter and granddaughter.
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