Domaine J.A. Ferret
Located in the heart of the Maconnais, Domaine Ferret has been exploring the richness of Pouilly-Fuissé’s terroirs since 1840. The history of the property has been intertwined with that of a series of strong women who have helped raise the profile of the great Chardonnay-based wines of Southern Burgundy in France and overseas.
Domaine Ferret owes its current form to Jeanne Ferret, who had the courage to put her own wines in bottle. Above all else, she pioneered the practice of vinifying wines based on a classification of parcels that she devised and which is still the hallmark of the ‘Tête de Cru’ and ‘Hors Classe’ cuvées. Her daughter, Colette, and then, from 2008 onwards, Audrey Braccini, have continued to link the domaine’s identity with the characteristic elegance of its wines.
AT THE HEART OF FUISSÉ SINCE 1840
A detailed identification of the very best terroirs is the basis for vinification focused on individual parcels, a concept that helped spread the fame of the domaine far and wide. This classification, established by Jeanne Ferret, saw the creation of the ‘Tête de Cru’ and ‘Hors Classe’ cuvées.
Another of her early initiatives was the domaine bottling of the wines, which was not the norm at the time. Her daughter, Colette, continued working in the same vein, and also put in place a focus on the maturation of the wines.
When Maison Louis Jadot acquired the 18-hectare property in 2008, the aim was to continue to work along the lines established by the Ferret family. Audrey Braccini is the guardian of its traditions.
Originally from Lorraine, Audrey Braccini has made Fuissé’s amphitheatre her home, much as Jeanne Ferret did when she moved there from her birthplace in Charolais.
With a degree in agricultural and alimentary engineering, Audrey completed her education with a postgraduate Masters in Vine and Wine and an Enological Diploma at Montpellier’s SupAgro College. She began working in Beaujolais, where she spent time exploring the many facets of Fleurie’s Gamay. In 2008, Maison Louis Jadot asked her to take the helm at Domaine Ferret. Audrey’s painstaking, precise attention to detail is what has helped the Chardonnays of this Pouilly-Fuissé property to continue to shine. In her sensitivity to precision, she walks in the footsteps of the women who preceded her at the domaine.
The mother of two small children, she likes to read them bedtime stories and to share her enjoyment of good home cooking with them. The proximity of the Alps allows her to ski as often as possible and assuages her desire to travel, albeit not too distant countries – she prefers to travel on skis rather than in the skies. Having said that, she loves the Irish countryside and the vineyards of Piedmont, her favorite overseas destinations.
The variety of rocks present in the soils of Fuissé is the most diverse of the entire appellation, and Domaine Ferret, whose parcels are spread across the breadth of Fuissé is one of the appellation’s best ambassadors. The soils can be extremely shallow, based on hard limestone derived from seams of chert, but they can also be clay-rich, derived from marns, schists or volcanic-sedimentary sandstones. Furthermore, the bedrock, a lacustrine limestone that is exposed to the east of the Beauregard plateau, dates back more than 330 million years.
At Domaine Ferret, making great wine depends, above all, on a respect for heritage – not only of the soil, but also of the human beings who drink its wine and who cultivate its vines.
Carefully tended, sometimes planted alongside cover crops, but always given due respect and attention, each of the domaine’s vines is managed according to its needs. The exceptional, here, is the norm. By knowing the soils in depth, even down to knowing the last detail of its distant origins, those who work in the vineyards prove their love for it and oversee their needs in order to be able to hand on nature’s gift to future generations.
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