Domaine Daniel Chotard
The wines of Sancerre are rich and diverse. From two grape varieties and three terroirs, each winegrower puts their stamp on the wine they produces through their cultural choices and oenological practices in order to produce their version of Sancerre.
The Daniel Chotard estate is located at the end of the Reigny village, in Crézancy-en-Sancerre, surrounded by a cirque of hills of clay-limestone Kimeridgian marls. The plots located on these slopes are sunny all day long, and the vines planted there sink their roots into the springs that run in the subsoil. The juices from these plots are ample, round and delicious.
The estate also has a few plots on the village plateau, with a terroir of Kimeridgian Morello cherries, which brings great minerality to the grapes.
Finally, the last plots are located on the Crézancy-en-Sancerre plateau, on Oxfordian caillottes, which produces very fruity wines.
They work the vines while trying to respect nature as much as possible and to preserve the vines in order to get the best out of the grape varieties and terroir. The soil is worked at the end of winter, which allows it to breathe without the use of weedkillers.
The harvest is done by hand, by a team of seasonal workers, most of whom are used to harvesting at the estate.
In the cellar, Simon, a trained oenologist, monitors his wines, trying to act on them as little as possible. Curious by nature, he set himself the goal of attempting a wine-making experience by vintage in order to enrich his knowledge of Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and the Sancerrois terroir. For example, he has already tested the vinification of his whites in oak or acacia barrels, in tuns made from these same woods, that of rosé in acacia barrels or even the fermentation of red directly in barrels in order to melt the notes from wood to wine.
The Chotard Winemaking Family
The winemaking tradition of the CHOTARD family - in Reigny - has been going on for more than two centuries. The brothers Marcel and Henri cultivated the vines and vinified their wines individually. Each also produced a little grain and raised a few animals. Marcel, a cabinetmaker in his spare time, also made his barrels.
Daniel, son of Marcel, returned to the estate after a career in national education, which had nevertheless enabled him to carry out the main work in the vines. His return marked the abandonment of polyculture to focus on the production of a very personal Sancerre, often associated with music by the organization of cultural events in Sancerre and the estate.
Brigitte, Daniel's wife joined him on the estate. The important role of women in small family farms isn't mentioned enough. She gives her opinion on the wines, welcomes customers and takes charge of administrative management, an essential component to the smooth running of the estate.
Simon, Brigitte and Daniel's son, arrived on the estate in 2011, after obtaining his oenologist diploma from ENSA in Toulouse. This diploma allowed him to form his philosophy of wine: let nature take its course as much as possible and only act on the wine if necessary, as you would let a child learn by experience, only orienting it slightly towards the right path when necessary.