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Human

In the beginning, there was the encounter between a Belgian who loved wine and a region, Burgundy.

Jean Rijckaert started making wine in 1990 in the Mâconnais region, where he had settled, as the co-founder of the Verget wine merchants in Sologny. In 1998, when the Domaine Rijckaert was created, Jean bought 4 hectares of vineyards in Maconnais (mainly in the Viré-Clessé area) and, as an enthusiast for the Jura region and convinced of the area’s winemaking potential, 5 hectares in Arbois. A visionary…

Every region has its own wine cellar, so they can work as close as possible to the vines. Mâconnais wine is made in Davayé. And in Jura, it is made in Villette-Les-Arbois, a winemaking village close to Jura’s wine capital.

The range is completed by making wine from grapes purchased “on the vine stock”. Notable representatives include wines from Chablis and Côte d’Or. The grapes are processed entirely in house, from harvesting to bottling, with the same precision and same care given as to the estate’s own grapes.

Handover

In the early 2000s, Jean met Florent Rouve during a tasting of Saint-Véran… They got on well from the start. With his heart in Jura and his feet in Burgundy, Florent was naturally taken with a winemaker promoting both wine regions.

They went on to become alter egos. Jean decided to gradually pass on the passion and high standards in winemaking that give Rijckaert wines their special character. Limited yields, harvesting by hand, slow and moderate wine pressing, native yeasts, long development… plus a few little secrets that are a winemaker’s trade mark!

Florent, a friend of Julien Collovray, another winemaker in Davayé, officially took over at the RIJCKAERT estate in 2013. He was backed by the Collovray and Terrier families, who showed him complete trust. Florent protects the spirit of RIJCKAERT wines, but has also helped them develop more freshness and tension. These high standards involve investing in equipment adapted to the painstaking development of the wines and a respect for natural resources.

Florent

Florent, where did you spring from?

From early childhood I would hear my father, a geologist, talking about his explorations, and I always wanted to do a job involving nature. After studying forestry, I continued my education with a degree in agricultural engineering. To help pay for my education I did part-time jobs in vineyards and wine cellars.

I loved wine and winemaking so much that I decided to make it my career. So I completed my education by studying oenology in Dijon. I did a wide range of jobs and eventually, in 2007, I became the steward at the Domaine des Poncétys, the Mâcon-Davayé college’s winery.

There I met Jean Rijckaert.
I had no idea I would have the chance to continue the work of this great winemaker! The hand of fate…

Mineral

The winemaking soils in Burgundy and Jura date from the same geological era, some 150 million years ago: the Jurassic.

The Jurassic was given its name by Alexandre Brongniart in the 19th century. He used the term to describe the thick layer of limestone found in the Jura region. This sedimentary layer was formed by the sea – warm seas once covered this part of France! It is an ideal parent rock to form limestone soils, allowing Chardonnay and Savagnin grapes to find full expression.

The rocky foundations developed differently in the two regions in later geological periods. They were subject to random geological events and the much more continental climatic influences east of the River Saône, in Jura. Today, Burgundy and Jura basically have the same clay-limestone soils. To simplify, we can generally find more stony, dry and pervious soils in Burgundy than in Jura, where the grapes grow in marlstone-rich, cool and humid soils. But of course each plot of land has its specific qualities.

Plant
& Animal

The same methods are used on the vines in BURGUNDY and JURA. Our aim is to foster the autonomous development of the plant by boosting its own immunity to fungal disease.

We foster biodiversity in the vineyards, where chemicals are never used. The soils are ploughed, while leaving a strip of glass for the tractors to drive along. Treatments are based on copper and sulphur only, along with plant-based fertilisers to help the chlorophyll to thrive in the vine and decrease the amounts of copper we use.

The method aims to:

  • Combat erosion on the steepest vineyards
  • Help the vines to take root in the deepest parts of the soil:
    • Improve the water balance in the plant and in the grapes, as a result
    • Provide mineral nutrition to the plant and bring out the specific qualities of the soils
  • Preserve the biodiversity of the macroflora, as well as the microflora. This is crucial for our wines since fermentation is “spontaneous”. That is, it originates mainly from the micro-organisms naturally occurring in the grapes.
Wines : grapes
first and foremost!

Our work is guided by “the specific quality of the grape variety and the typical nature of the soils”. Respecting all aspects of the grape juice at every step of our work is primordial:

  • Preserving the biodiversity of the native plant life in the vineyards, which conditions the complexity of wine fermentation
  • Harvesting by hand to protect the structure of the grapes and the expression of the aromas that are specific to each grape variety and the soils where they grow
  • The juice produced near the end of the pressing process does not have the same aromatic finesse as the juices extracted earlier on, so they are separated. The juices are blended in varying quantities (from 0% to 100%!) in the final wine.
  • Alcoholic fermentation and malolactic fermentation are spontaneous, that is, they result from the natural flora in the grape and/or in the wine cellar. So the specific “terroir” effect is not obscured by the effect of exterior “yeasts”.
  • Almost all our wine is produced in casks with very little new wood. What we’re interested in is not adding aromas but the contents of the casks! The 228 litre to 300 litre casks give rise to close contact between the wine and the lees, with wood “washed” by several vintages. This is a “living” matter resulting in gaseous micro-interactions, helping to give the wine body. Very sparse use of new wood: all our wines are vinified in casks (228 L and 300 L). New wood is only used with wines with enough strength to incorporate it, and which become more complex in the process. We prefer to use wood and heating techniques resulting in neutral aromatic tendencies.
  • The wines are vinified on lees, conveying a “memory” of the grape variety and the expression of a terroir, with no stirring: the wine’s structure must come from the grape.
Wines

ARBOIS Chardonnay

A great “taster” to discover all the finesse of Jura Chardonnay wines!

Grape variety : Chardonnay

Chardonnay A blend from different Chardonnay vineyards between the villages of Arbois and Villette. Grey marlstone from the early Bajocian era with limestone scree in the steepest areas

ARBOIS "En Paradis"

Grapes grown in cool soils. Fans will love the incredible tension in this wine.

Grape variety : Chardonnay

Iridescent blue marlstone from the early Jurassic age, sandstone and limestone

ARBOIS "Grand Elevage"

The old Savagnin vines give rise to a full-bodied wine with an impressively long salty flavour… Savagnin is a sheer delight!

Grape variety : Savagnin

Easterly to south-easterly exposure. Grey and iridescent blue marlstone from the early Bajocian era (Lias and Triassic).

ARBOIS Savagnin

Varied exposure. Grey and iridescent blue marlstone from the early Bajocian era (Lias and Triassic).

Grape variety : Savagnin

Full expression of the Savagnin grape in all its varietal aspects. A very lively wine.

CÔTES DU JURA " Les Sarres" - Chardonnay

A great locality for white wines. This wine has surprising richness and finesse. Pure “terroir”!

Grape variety : Chardonnay

Municipality of Buvilly, eastern exposure. Grey marlstone with gryphaea from the early Bajocian era (Lias and Triassic).

CÔTES DU JURA " Vigne des Voises"

A rich, complex and mouth-watering wine… Ideal for a quick lunch.

Grape variety : Chardonnay

Fossilised limestone and marlstone sediment from the early Bajocian, Lias and Triassic ages. Cool under ground, fostering roots, and warm on the surface to promote maturity.

CÔTES DU JURA "Les Sarres"- Savagnin

Savagnin has found its home with a wonderful expression of its full potential. Body, depth… This is wine in its pure state…

Grape variety : Savagnin

Municipality of Buvilly, eastern exposure. Grey marlstone with gryphaea from the early Bajocian era (Lias and Triassic).

ARBOIS « La Rouge »

100 % POULSARD: a local grape variety with a thin skin, with no strong tannic element, but providing an acidic body ot the wine. You should drink “La Rouge” in the same way you would drink a refreshing white wine!

Grape variety : Poulsard

“La Rouge” is our only Jura red wine. The grapes grow in iron-rich clayey soil with a hint of… redness.

MACON-VILLAGES

Generally from the north of the wine region (Cruzille, Chardonnay, Burgy), this Mâcon-Villages conveys fullness and mineral purity.

Cépage : Chardonnay

A wide range of clay-limestone soils (mostly limestone / chert and red clay). Mainly facing east.

MACON-BURGY Vieilles Vignes

The village of Burgy on the Mâconnais hills produces fresh and dynamic wines. An eminently drinkable, thirst-quenching wine!

Cépage : Chardonnay

Cool climate (300 m above sea-level). Clay-sandstone and brown limestone soils on hills facing west and south-west.

MACON-LA-ROCHE-VINEUSE « Levant »

A 100% Mâconnais area, where Chardonnay grapes have a strong aromatic strength, but also produce fresh and delicate wines.

Cépage : Chardonnay

The view from these east-facing vineyards at sunrise is quite simply magical! Limestone / chert soils on red clay. The area is also known as “Mont Rouge”.

MACON-LUGNY "Les Crays vers Vaux"

For anyone who thinks a Mâcon is a “little fruity wine” and would like to change their minds…

Cépage : Chardonnay

Limestone scree. Very stony ground.

VIRE CLESSE "Rendez-vous de Septembre"

This is our only wine blended just after the grapes are pressed (hence the name). The vineyards on nice clay soils produce smooth wines but with the mineral characteristics of the great Viré-Clessé appelation!

Cépage : Chardonnay

A blend of complementary grapes from different sources. Limestone from the early and mid Bajocian period with layers of red clay of varying widths.

VIRE CLESSE "L'Epinet"

A delicate Viré-Clessé, with plenty of strength but also well balanced with a fine mineral aspect…

Cépage : Chardonnay

Clay from the early Bajocian age (Lias)

VIRE-CLESSE " Les Vercherres"

One of the estate’s flagship wines. All the generosity of grapes picked at the height of their maturity and the finesse of scree soils are preserved by a light-handed vinification process.

Cépage : Chardonnay

Eastern exposure. Small chert scree on clay from the early Bajocian era.

SAINT-VERAN Vieilles Vignes

The typical generous quality of the Saint Véran appelation is followed by a great finish resulting from the limestone-clay origins of the wine.

Cépage : Chardonnay

Variable. Mainly limestone / chert soils on clay at varying depths.

SAINT-VERAN "Tiercelets"

From the north of the Saint-Véran wine region, this wine takes its finesse and depth from the hard limestone on the slopes of the Roche de Vergisson, where tiercelets (small birds of prey) nest in large numbers.

Cépage : Chardonnay

Shallow clay-marlstone and limestone soils.

SAINT-VERAN "En Crêches"

“En Crêche” is an area of the Saint-Veran wine region that is renowned for its unique features. In this stony “cradle”, shaped by the eastern slopes of the Roche de Vergisson, a wine with impressive density is born.

Cépage : Chardonnay

“Thin” white limestone soils facing east / south-east

POUILLY-FUISSE Vieilles Vignes

Expresses the typical qualities of the famous appellation. A blend from vineyards in relatively cool areas (facing west), this Pouilly-Fuissé has a generous heart in an elegant body.

Cépage : Chardonnay

Variable. Limestone soils on more or less stony slopes.

POUILLY-FUISSE "La Roche »"

This magnificent stony location on the Roche de Vergisson plateau calls for early harvesting to preserve all its high standards. A wine with great mineral density, expressive and delicate.

Cépage : Chardonnay

Soils of limestone scree on clay. A cool environment on the western slopes of the Roche de Solutré…

POUILLY-FUISSE "Les Croux"

The old vines on the southern slopes of the Roche de Vergisson store up heat, but fortunately keep their “feet” cool with long roots making their way down between the stones (known locally as “Croux”) to the clay. This wine is characterised by its power and softened by a wonderful mineral structure.

Cépage : Chardonnay

On the south / south-eastern slopes of the Roche de Vergisson. Soils arising from superficial stone deposits on marlstone.

BOURGOGNE Aligoté « Bien élevé »

Painstakingly developed in 400 litre casks, this Aligoté made from vines that are over 60 years old is an inviting and dynamic wine, ideal for a quick lunch with friends!

Cépages : Aligoté, cépage blanc descendant du Pinot Noir, comme le Chardonnay.

Marl limestone at the foot of the slopes facing south-west.

SANTENAY blanc Vieilles vignes

A rare wine (just 5% of the appellation produces white wines), enriched by its southerly location but with a mineral intensity that is a great feature of Côte d’Or.

Cépage : Chardonnay

Santenay wines are made south of Côte de Beaune, near Chassagne and Puligny. Marlstone soils.

MEURSAULT 1er CRU BLAGNY

The wines are developed in casks with little new wood (20%). We aim to bring out the noble power of this noble wine in the great tradition of the great white wines of Côte de Beaune.

Cépage : Chardonnay

The solid roots of these old vines dig deep into the marl limestone in vineyards between Meursault and Puligny-Montrachet.

CÔTEAUX BOURGUIGNONS "Correaux"

The old Gamay grapevines are vinified in a traditional way, resulting in a fruity and festive wine made for sharing!

Cépage : Gamay noir à jus blanc

A soil of alluvial deposits from the tertiary and quaternary eras taking the form of siliceous clay.

SAVIGNY LES BEAUNE 1er CRU Marconnets

A wine that is both filled with the power of its origins and the finesse of the grape variety.

Cépage : Pinot Noir

“Les Marconnets” is a plot of land on the Beaune side of the appellation, on sandy clay soils with traces of iron-rich limestone.

CORTON GRAND CRU Blanc

Exclusively produced for Millésimes Inc., our long-standing Japanese importer

VINS DE CHABLIS

Exclusively produced for Millésimes Inc., our long-standing Japanese importer


Food & Wine matches

Jura Chardonnay

  • A classic: river trout served with butter and a few almonds
  • An alternative: wild salmon with Tandoori-style spices
  • No time to cook: a flammekueche (a slender savoury tart with onions and lardons)

Jura Savagnin

  • A classic: Bresse chicken, Comté cheese cream and morel mushrooms… Timeless!
  • An alternative: risotto with clams, peas and green asparagus
  • No time to cook…: a little Comté cheese

Jura Poulsard

  • A classic: salt pork and lentils
  • An alternative: Moroccan-style lamb and vegetables
  • No time to cook…: smoked salted meat

Mâconnais Chardonnay

  • A classic: Sunday roast chicken, thyme and baby new potatoes
  • An alternative: cod loin and samphire with seaweed butter
  • No time to cook…: a little Mâconnais AOP (a dry goat’s cheese)

Côte d’Or Chardonnay

  • A classic: blanquette de veau and steamed rice
  • An alternative: Norway lobster with seafood sauce, vitelotte potato in truffle-flavoured oil
  • No time to cook…: tuna belly with olive oil

Côte d’Or Aligoté

  • Anything that will make you feel thirsty…

Let’s not forget that wine is first of all a drink, and that everyone should be able to enjoy it without feeling intimidated. Wines should be dynamic, refreshing, festive and made for sharing. One glass should lead to another and the bottle should seem too small…

At Rijckaert we have a strong attachment to the social dimension of wine. Wine transmits a Culture. It is a gateway helping to develop “links”.

In terms of food-wine matches, we dislike “dogmas”. Everyone can do as they please according to their own references. We can only make a few suggestions… based purely on our own tastes!

Our suggestions:

Newsfeed

Wines: 2 newcomers on the 2021 wine list!

Bourgogne Aligoté “Bien Elevé” 2020: from the Beaune area, harvested by ourselves and vinified in the “Rijckaert” style with meticulous development in 400L casks. We love grape varieties with a nice fresh taste! Scheduled release in spring 2021.

Mâcon La Roche-Vineuse “Levant” 2020: vineyards facing east, located on Mont Rouge in Hurigny, where the sunrise is breathtaking and the landscapes stretch as far as the eye can see over the Sâone plain, Ain, Revermont and the Alps (including Mont Blanc!). Organic estate vines (with the green label) on magnificent red clay and chert soils… Serious stuff!

Guest house

Our guest rooms in Arbois will be all ready in spring!

Restaurants

Congratulations to the chef Enrique Casarrubias at the OXTE restaurant for his first Michelin star in 2021. We hope we will soon be able to go back for a great meal…

https://www.restaurant-oxte.com

Vineyards

2020 harvest: official conversion, Year 1!