The history of Jaffelin runs parallel to that of the Collegiate Church of Notre Dame in the historical city centre of Beaune, in the heart of Burgundy. Over the centuries, the Chapter House Cellars stored wines for the Collegiate Church, Dukes, Princes and Kings. The Chapter House Cellars changed hands many times until the Jaffelin brothers established their wine merchant business there, in 1816.
Today, just as eight centuries ago, the wines mature in the monastic tranquillity of the "Caves du Chapitre"(Chapter House Cellars). Since 2004, a young lady winemaker called Marinette Garnier has revitalized the Jaffelin wines, with a combination of traditional and modern vinification techniques.
In addition, the winery above the Chapter House Cellars has been totally restored and the winemaking equipment modernised to enable greater attention to detail, and allow almost boutique style wines to be made.
Full bunches of grapes are taken to the winery in small lug boxes before careful hand selection takes place (using a 3-metres long sorting table). The equipment is movable which allows the grapes to be transferred into the fermentation vats without pumping. Red wines are fermented in large oak vats, while white wines are fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks.
A five hectolitres capacity vertical press is used to extract the grape juice in a single operation. The fermented must is gravity-filtered through its own solids (pips, skins and pieces of stalk) which produces very clear juice with no trace of bitterness.
Pumping is again avoided when filling up the oak barrels, which is done by gravity through two holes in the floor of the fermentation room, down to the underground Chapter House Cellars.