Benoît Gauthier – Vouvray
I met Benoit Gautier thanks to Boris Desbourde our Chinon producer and Ivo Pages our producer from Cataluña. When I told them that I was looking for sourcing wines from the Vouvray appellation, they both recommended me the Domaine de La Châtaigneraie in La Rochecorbon.
Vouvray is an all-white wine appellation made from Chenin Blanc grape in the heart of the Loire Valley, located along the right bank of the river, east of the city of Tours. Depending on the vintages and the date of the harvest, between August and November, the grape offers a variety of styles from dry to medium-dry, even sweet when harvested late in the season.
The domaine of 15 hectares de la Châtaigneraie has been owned by the Gautier family for centuries. Benoît, a charismatic wine-maker, well known in this part of the Kings Valley, has run it since 1981. Interestingly enough, the region features an assortment of limestone caves, where vineyards like the Gautier family stock their wines. Could it be a coincidence that this ancestral underground network recalls the troglodyte house in Turkey where the legend of St George, who gave its name to the medium sweet cuvee of Benoît, may have begun?