Over 120 years ago Maurice Vacheron, the current owners’ great-grandfather, founded a Domaine with the acquisition of a single hectare of vineyard. His son Jean expanded the vineyard with three hectares of Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc. Jean became president of the Sancerre winegrowers’ association and did invaluable work in increasing the reputation of the AOC. In 1965 Jean’s sons Denis and Jean-Louis took over the family vineyards and worked tirelessly to acquire new plots and solidify the name of Vacheron, associating the Domaine with not just premium Sauvignon Blanc, but also Pinot Noir.
The Domaine now rests in the hands of two cousins: Jean-Laurent, Denis’ son, and Jean-Dominique, Jean Louis’ son. Their time at the helm has elevated Domaine Vacheron to one of the most highly respected and admired historical producers of the Sancerre AOC.
The 38ha of Sauvignon Blanc and 12ha of Pinot Noir at Domaine Vacheron have been certified biodynamic since 2005. The two cousins inherited some of the finest parcels in Sancerre, creating wines with a Burgundian approach – vinifying by terroir and blends varying from year to year. The wines come from 10-60+ year old vines, ensuring they are mineral driven, textural and express great power and tension.
One of the largest properties in Sancerre to hand harvest its fruit, Domaine Vacheron’s labour-intensive focus on quality epitomises their commitment to producing fine wine. What results are wines that are extremely reliable, even in difficult years.
No synthetic or chemical materials are used in the vineyards, and the only fertilizer is produced from compost piles. Yields are kept low. Fermentation is all on indigenous yeasts in a combination of stainless-steel or cement tanks and wooden, open top fermenters. Aged in either large oak casks or French oak barrels, depending on the Cru and vintage, the wines are bottled unfiltered and unfined according to the lunar cycle.
Soils vary, mainly silex (flint) with parts limestone (caillote) and cretaceous marl. Beginning with some rows in the renowned Les Romains vineyard, Vacheron has gradually acquired small amounts of vines in the most coveted lieu-dits in the appellation, including Guigne Chevre, En Grands Champs, Paradis and Chambrates. These sites showcase some of the best mineral driven wines in the region, which will give immediate pleasure, or last for decades to come.