Olivier Bernard's beloved property, a hidden vineyard that he has carefully nurtured since its acquisition by his family in 1983, is a sort of secret garden, sheltered by an immense surrounding forest. These days, he is focussed on passing down to his sons the respect for nature and for terroir that have always been his guiding principles.
"To get the best from your land, you must know that land intimately", says Olivier, a man of great humility who likes to repeat that "the terroir is always the master: we humans just reveal what is already there".
And it is precisely this knowledge that impels him to continue to introduce elements that will ensure the excellence of Domaine du Chevalier's wines, whether that's conversion to biodynamic practice, the management of the soil's water levels, high-density planting or the prioritising of Cabernet Sauvignon for red wine and Sauvignon Blanc for the whites. He recognises that "biodynamics has been a game changer".
While 2010 was, in his opinion, a reference-point vintage, Olivier believes that 2018 is his own "best vintage yet", an almost perfect blend of freshness, power and exceptional concentration.
Surface : 45 hectares
Soils : soil of dark sand and fine white gravel
Grapes : White : 70% sauvignon, 30% sémillon / Red : 63% cabernet sauvignon, 30% merlot, 5% petit verdot, 2% cabernet franc
Cultural method : integrated agriculture
Age of vines : 25 ans
Vine density : 10 000 vines per hectare