Domaine Sébastien Brunet
In 1974 Michel Brunet created Domaine de la Roche Fleurie with just 3 hectares of land in Vouvray that he inherited from his father. Little by little, Michel expanded the Domaine to a total of 15 hectares and in 2000 Michel’s son Sébastien completed his Bachelor of Viticulture and Oenology and joined the family business.
In 2006 Michel Brunet passed away leaving the estate to his son Sébastien, who almost immediately converted the vineyards to organics and renamed it “Domaine Sébastien Brunet”, adamant on making his own personal winemaking philosophies known. The vineyards stretch along the slopes and the valleys of the Brenne, a small tributary that runs perpendicular to the Loire, towards Chançay, where their winery is dug out of the tufa/soft limestone hills (once a mushroom farm some 2km deep!).
Until visiting Vouvray and meeting great vignerons like Sébastien first-hand it was my preconceived idea that all Vouvray was mass-produced, without any real concentration, generally flabby, overtly honeyed or lanolinic, and nearly always acidified. I was wrong. The great producers here are quite the opposite – incredibly sensitive and reflective of their site - mineralic and with great natural acidity too – so it’s about time someone brings them to New Zealand and shows us what Vouvray is truly capable of being!
Here, the traditional Vouvray soils of silex (flint), clay and limestone are translated with as little intervention as possible; the fruit is hand harvested, sorted by hand, gently and slowly pressed without any enzymes, natural wild fermentation in stainless steel, maturation in mostly old demi-muid and barrique, then just lightly sulphured prior to bottling.
Annual production: 15 ha
Vouvray, Loire, France