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Vignobles Berthier

Centre-Loire, France

Vignobles Berthier

Brothers Clement and Florian may be the fifth generation of Loire Valley winegrowers in their family. They may be the stewards of 32 hectares spread between the Coteaux du Giennois and Sancerre, in the heart of a region that is absolutely synonymous with Sauvignon Blanc. But ask Clement about their wines and the philosophy behind them and at some point he will likely tell you ‘I am not interested in making Sauvignon.’ That’s not to say the Berthiers don’t grow Sauvignon Blanc – in fact it’s eighty percent of what they grow! What Clement and Florian are striving for is an expression of their appellations that subsumes varietal character in favor of the terroir.

Vignobles Berthier traces its origins back to 1980, when the brothers’ father Jean Marie struck out on his own. Beginning from scratch, he assembled 16 hectares, primarily in the Giennois, along with some Sancerre. Clement and Florian both completed their studies at the CFPPA in Beaune, followed by winemaking stints in France and abroad. Clement spent time at Domaine du Vieux Telegraph in Chateauneuf-du-Pape and Solena in Oregon; Florian at Domaine Anne-Francois Gros in Vosne-Romanee. By 2013 they had both joined the family enterprise.

Today, Florian manages the vineyards while Clement makes the wines and manages sales. Florian is deeply invested in the health of the vineyards and soils. In 2013, he eliminated chemical products and began converting to organics, with certification in 2022. He has reduced tillage, often to just one or two passages a year, in favor of maintaining a healthy cover crop.

In the cellar, Clement has expanded the range of wines beyond the excellent village bottlings. Most notable are a series of single-vineyard Coteaux du Giennois wines, each one representing a particular soil type. Additionally, he makes an extraordinary single-parcel Sancerre and an excellent Menetou-Salon from purchased fruit All of the wines are is picked for optimal ripeness and aged in steel with extended lees contact. It is often said that the soils in this corner of the Loire are more like Chablis than their neighbors to the east. That is immediately apparent in the white wines, full of ripe citrus, stone fruit, fresh herbs, and exposed mineral notes. The reds, made from Pinot Noir and Gamay, are juicy and fresh with an appealing pepperiness. In both colors the wines are simultaneously refreshing and substantial. 

Additional Details:

  • Producer: Vignobles Berthier
  • Image
  • Country: France
  • Region: Centre-Loire
  • Sub Region: Coteaux du Giennois

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