Domaine de la Pépière - NEW
DOMAINE DE LA PÉPIÈRE
Facts and wines
Domaine de la Pépière, Maisdon-sur-Sèvre is a medium-sized domain of 45 ha. characterized by an extremely varied geology that allows for the production of strongly differentiated terroir wines. Marc Ollivier, Rémi Branger and Gwénaëlle Croix are behind what, since its inception in 1984, has become one of the area's leading producers. They never choose the easy way when it comes to production, but bet 100% on ecology (certified in 2010) and the cultivation of perfect grapes. Melon de Bourgogne (Muscadet) is grown here, but also some Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Côt and Merlot. The wines are stylish, light(er) and mineral, and the traditional "sur lie" aging leaves its mark.Buy their wines here Products Products
- Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie 2019 100% Melon de Bourgogne
- Muscadet Sévre et Maine Sur Lie "Monnières-Saint Fiacre" 2015 100% Melon de Bourgogne
- Muscadet Sévre et Maine Sur Lie "Monnières-Saint Fiacre" 2017 100% Melon de Bourgogne
- Muscadet Sévre et Maine Sur Lie "Monnières-Saint Fiacre" MG 2015 100% Melon de Bourgogne
- Muscadet Sévre et Maine Sur Lie "Clisson" 2017 100% Melon de Bourgogne
LOCAL MAN FROM WINE FARMER FAMILY
Marc Ollivier was born and raised in the area. His grandfather was a wine farmer and cultivated a small 3 hectares where he produced wines that he bottled himself and drove to the nearby big city of Nantes to sell to cafes. (The norm was otherwise more to sell in bulk to négociants)
BACK TO THE ROOTS
The small domain was continued by Marc's father and uncle, but when these had children, it became impossible to feed two families with it. Marc's father therefore became an agricultural technician, while his uncle continued as a wine producer. Marc took a scientific education at university, but felt drawn to wine production. He therefore signed up for a course in Burgundy and returned to Muscadet in 1984, where he bought the then 7 hectare Domaine de la Pépière.
DISCOVERY OF THE UNIQUE TERROIRS OF MUSCADET
At this time there was not much talk about terroirs in Muscadet, so the wines from the different fields were blended into one cuvée [:a bottling:]. But one day Marc noticed that a wine from a certain tank tasted different from the others. Looking at a geological map, he quickly understood why. The domain's fields lay on top of an extremely varied soil with different volcanic rocks: quartz, silicate, sand, clay, etc. This discovery has since guided Marc's work and led him to now strive to express the different terroirs through different wines.
TOWARDS A MORE TERROIR-ORIENTED PRODUCTION
With this awareness came a quest to produce in a way that was closest to and most respectful of the terroirs. Domaine de la Pépière had a sensible traditional starting point – the grapes, for example, have always been harvested by hand – but Marc wanted to go further and produce 100% organically. He started on this path and when the young and talented wine farmer's son, Rémi Branger arrived a few years later, it gave extra resources to pay even more attention to the fields and convert to organic. The team was further strengthened in 2013 by Gwénaëlle Lacroix, who is a trained oenologist. From her came the impulses to move on to biodynamic cultivation, which is the domain's current major project.
A DOMAIN AT ITS HIGHEST
Over the past three decades, the domain has grown to the current 45 ha. with the purchase of excellent fields from various villages in the Sèvre et Maine district. Here we can mention Clisson with its granite soil, Château Thébaud with granodiorite, Saint-Fiacre with gneiss and Gorges with gabbro (cooled magma). Today, the domain is therefore stronger than ever with both a strong team and an extremely exciting collection of wines.
WORKED IN THE CELLAR
The philosophy in the cellar naturally follows that in the fields. Marc Ollivier explains that at "La Pépière" they have chosen not to make use of the easy solution when something does not go as desired and to correct the wines using an arsenal of oenological products. Instead, he and his partners strive to produce perfect grapes. When the grape material is good, the work in the cellar goes almost by itself. The grapes are treated carefully so that they can preserve all their qualities and the expression of their terroir. The fermentation takes place with the grapes' own yeast and not with the help of foreign industrial yeast, which affects and unifies the taste in the wine. The whole process in the cellar is completely natural.
AROUND ”ELEVAGE SUR LIE” [:STORAGE ON THE BOTTOM:]
The classic aging method "sur lie" leaves its clear mark on the Muscadet wines. The technique involves storing the wines until bottling – in tanks or casks – with the remains of the dead yeast cells. The long contact with the sediment leads to a change in the wine's structure: it becomes fatter and at the same time other types of aromas (butter, ripe fruit, etc.) arise that complement the wine's primary aromas.
ABOUT THE GRAPE MELON DE BOURGOGNE
The wines in Muscadet are made exclusively from Melon de Bourgogne or Melon, the grape is sometimes also simply called Muscadet. It originally comes from Burgundy, where it was born from a cross between Pinot Noir and the old grape variety Gouais Blanc. Melon was not judged qualitative enough for Burgundy and has therefore been abandoned there.
AROUND THE PRICES IN MUSCADET
Even when they reach these heights, the wines from Muscadet are never expensive and this can be seen in the landscape. Here there are no magnificent castles and expensive cars in the driveways of the vineyards. It is no easier to produce top quality wines here than elsewhere, so it can feel unfair that the producers are not paid better for their work. Of course, the great cuvées from the best houses are not exactly free, but if the wines came from a more sought-after district, such as Burgundy, they would easily cost triple or more.
With the basic wines of the good producers, you get the opportunity for really good white wine experiences at everyday prices - as long as the market does not discover the qualities of this excellent wine region.