What is the history of Domaine Laroche?

Answered by Rodney Landry

The history of Domaine Laroche dates back to 1850 when Jean Victor Laroche, a hardworking vineyard laborer, took a leap of faith and purchased his first parcels of vines in the charming village of Maligny, which lies just a stone's throw away from the renowned village of Chablis. This marked the humble beginnings of what would eventually become a prestigious and highly respected estate.

Jean Victor Laroche's dedication and passion for winemaking were passed down from generation to generation, with each subsequent member of the family expanding the vineyard holdings. The Laroche family's commitment to quality and their deep-rooted connection to the land enabled them to gradually expand their vineyards, which by the mid-1960s had grown to encompass an impressive 6 hectares (14.83 acres).

The Laroche family's expertise and knowledge of the unique terroir of Chablis played a crucial role in the success of their wines. Chablis, located in the northernmost wine region of Burgundy, is famous for its distinctive Kimmeridgian soil, composed of clay, limestone, and fossilized oyster shells. This mineral-rich soil, combined with the cool climate and the influence of the nearby Yonne River, creates the perfect conditions for growing Chardonnay grapes of exceptional quality.

Over the years, Domaine Laroche continued to flourish, acquiring additional vineyards and expanding their production. They embraced sustainable and organic viticultural practices, recognizing the importance of preserving the environment and working in harmony with nature.

One significant milestone in the history of Domaine Laroche was their decision to convert to biodynamic farming methods in 1994. This holistic approach to grape cultivation focuses on the interrelationship between the soil, plants, and celestial rhythms. By embracing biodynamics, the Laroche family aimed to enhance the vitality and expressiveness of their wines, while also promoting biodiversity and the health of the vineyard ecosystem.

Domaine Laroche's commitment to excellence and innovation has garnered them numerous accolades and recognition within the wine industry. They have become renowned for producing exceptional Chablis wines that showcase the unique characteristics of the region. Their portfolio includes a range of wines, from the crisp and vibrant Petit Chablis, to the elegant and age-worthy Grand Cru bottlings.

As a sommelier and brewer, I have had the privilege of experiencing the wines of Domaine Laroche firsthand. The purity and precision of their Chablis wines truly reflect the terroir and the meticulous craftsmanship of the winemaking team. Each sip tells a story of the land, the climate, and the hands that have shaped the grapes into a beautiful expression of Chardonnay.

The history of Domaine Laroche is one of passion, perseverance, and a deep connection to the land. From its humble beginnings in 1850 to its current status as a revered wine estate, Domaine Laroche has remained true to its roots, producing exceptional Chablis wines that exemplify the essence of this unique wine region.