Our Past History
Founded in 1840, Maison Simonnet-Febvre is a traditional Chablis winery and amongst the oldest in the area.
In 1840, Jean Febvre, a cooper from Montbard, bought Tisserand, a wine merchant company, and then specialized in the making of Sparkling Chablis, the ancester of our present Crémant de Bourgogne. Married to the daughter of a broker named Forgeot, the company became Febvre-Forgeot.
The company grew in the 19th century under the leadership of four successive generations. Melanie, daughter of Jean Febvre married Amedee Simonnet, they developped the company together. In 1894, with the death of Mr. Febvre, Febvre-Forgeot changed its name for the benefit of the person who would take the reins and thus became Simonnet-Febvre. Then their two sons, Georges and Camille, took over the business and gave it a significant push with their progressive vision. Modernization of facilities, building of the winery and loading dock, installation of electricity and telephone. These improvements went hand in hand with increasing national and export sales of sparkling Chablis along with still white wines from Chablis coming from Simonnet-Febvre's domaine. Georges will be succeeded by Pierre and then Jean-Claude Simonnet.
Simonnet-Febvre is the only one in Chablis to perpetuate since its origin the production of sparkling wines from the traditional method - now called Crémant de Bourgogne. The grapes still come from the slopes of the Grand Auxerrois area, located a few kilometers away from the famous Chablis vineyards. Ironically, Louis Latour from the 4th generation had celebrated the purchase of the Château Corton with bottles of Sparkling Chablis from Simonnet-Febvre. These bottles were ordered on December 8th, 1891, which was 112 years before Louis Latour finally purchased Simonnet-Febvre.Read MoreOur vineyards
Nowadays Simonnet-Febvre produces a wide range of wines expressing the different terroirs of the Chablis and Grand Auxerrois vineyards.
Founded in 1840, Maison Simonnet-Febvre owns vineyards in Chablis, Chablis Premier Cru Mont de Milieu and Chablis Grand Cru Preuses. It is a traditional Chablis winery amongst the oldest in the area. Bought by Maison Louis Latour in 2003, it is nowadays led by Jean-Philippe Archambaud who managed to inspire a new dynamic while keeping its independence by running it as a separate enterprise with its own house style.
Nowadays Simonnet-Febvre produces a wide range of wines expressing the different terroirs of Chablis. Maison Simonnet-Febvre's style is asserted with the same conviction throughout the whole range of wines, from our famous Saint-Bris to our outstanding Chablis Grand Cru "Les Clos".
We carry on our historical legacy by being the only winery in Chablis to produce a range of Crémants de Bourgogne. Owning 15 hectares of vineyards in the Auxois area which is halfway between Chablis and Beaune, Simonnet-Febvre is trying to restore the former grandeur to this once glorious terroir of Burgundy.
Our old buildings in Chablis and our modern winery in Chitry-le-Fort enable us to fully express the unique character of the vineyards of Chablis while preserving traditions from over a century ago.
Jean-Philippe Archambaud, Simonnet-Febvre Managing Director since 2004
From Burgundy (his mother was from Vosne-Romanée), he was first agronomist graduated from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure Agronomique de Toulouse (ENSAT), and then specialized in winemaking at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Montpellier (ENSAM) where he passed his Diplôme National d'Oenologue (DNO).
He began his career in 1998 at Michel Chapoutier in Tain l'Hermitage where he was first assistant winemaker before moving successively to Head of Foreign Wine Domain (South Australia) in 1999, then Director of Australasian Operations in Melbourne in 2000. From 2002 to 2004, he was both Wine Purchasing Manager and Managing Director of Ferraton Père et Fils in Tain l'Hermitage.
Since 2004 he heads Maison Simonnet-Febvre in Chablis, a subsidiary of Maison Louis Latour based in Beaune, as Managing Director.
« When I was given the reins of Maison Simonnet-Febvre in 2004, I found a traditional Chablis wine house whose wine quality let us hope for the best. However, it was necessary to make some changes to give more coherence and identity to the brand.
We started by refocusing the range of wines on the North of Burgundy only with the wines of Chablis, the Grand Auxerrois and of course the Crémant de Bourgogne which is the origin of Maison Simonnet-Febvre. Lacking space in our historic site in the heart of Chablis, it quickly became necessary to move into a larger, modern facility to optimize our development.
Meanwhile, after some experimentation, we finally found Simonnet-Febvre's style: pure and focused wines expressing in their own way their unique identity in relation to their terroir with the typical minerality of Chablis and northern Burgundy as a common frame. Take for example our six Chablis Premiers Crus, although vinified identically, each and every one offers a distinct personality from the other. This is all about the Climats of Burgundy. The same applies to our Crémants de Bourgogne with their well-defined style and unique personality. I invite you to discover them on our website or by visiting us.
Enjoy our wines."Our region
Terroir, Purity, Precision
Maison Simonnet-Febvre gives birth to pure and focused wines, each and every one expressing in their own unique way their terroir with the mineral backbone typical of the wines from Northern Burgundy.
It produces a wide range of wines expressing the different terroirs of the Chablis region, from Petit Chablis to Chablis Grand Cru, and the historic Yonne vineyards all gathered under the name of the Grand Auxerrois. These vineyards, which were destroyed when the phylloxera crisis hit the area in the 19th century, have been progressively replanted and have nowadays regain their prestige.
Simonnet-Febvre is also the only one in Chablis to produce a whole range of Crémants de Bourgogne, maintaining a more than a century-old tradition.
Finally with the purchase of 15 hectares of vineyard within the Coteaux de l'Auxois vineyard, Maison Simonnet-Febvre shows it vision of both traditional and innovative viticulture in 'Greater Burgundy'.