Domaine Fernand Girard is currently run by Alain Girard. He comes from several generations of winemakers in the tiny village of Chaudoux, located a few miles northwest of the town of Sancerre and directly north of the famous town of Chavignol.
He tends 14 hectares of vines in total, sells some cuvées to négociants and bottles only a portion of the total production under his family name. The “La Garenne” cuvée originally came from a 2.5 hectare vineyard of that name, a plot on a steep east-facing slope with a very rocky limestone soil. The chalky soil brings out the characteristic flinty, mineral and green notes of Sauvignon Blanc. On La Garenne’s well-drained, warm slopes, the grapes achieve exceptional ripeness and fruit.
The Girards vinify with modern technology: a pneumatic press, stainless-steel vats, a temperature control system during fermentation, and an air-conditioned space for aging in vats and stocking bottles. They counterbalance technology by practicing old-fashioned vineyard work, where herbicides and treatments are used sparingly, and by never adding commercial yeasts to induce fermentation or add flavors.
Their Sancerre is everything one hopes for when thinking about the region: it is bright, lively, pleasantly aromatic, has zippy acidity but low astringency. It is a wonderful food wine that is as versatile as it is easy to drink.
- Sancerre ‘La Garenne’