“Making wine is akin to expressing an emotion; you always try to be as precise as you can in bringing out the purity of the grapes grown on their particular terroir.”
Domaine Lucien Crochet
Both of Gilles Crochet’s grandfathers, André Crochet and Lucien Picard, were winegrowers. In fact, in the early 1950s, Lucien Picard was one of the pioneers of bottling Sancerre wines in the region to be able to sell them in Paris. Gilles’ father, Lucien Crochet, merged the two estates together. He developed relationships with the finest restaurants in Paris and it was only natural for the export markets to follow. Today, Gilles’ wife Laurence, who is also the daughter of a Sancerre grower, and Gilles himself oversee the estate while adding their own approach and sensitivity.
To develop his own vision of viticulture, Gilles Crochet decided to leave Sancerre in 1978 to pursue his university studies in oenology in Dijon of Burgundy. After that, he met some very interesting people and had several extremely enriching experiences, especially during a formative training at Domaine Dujac in Morey-Saint-Denis, where he discovered another approach to Pinot Noir. He returned to the family estate in Sancerre in 1983. Since then, with each vintage, he has been vinifying 7 or 8 cuvées and continues to experiment with new techniques.
The estate’s vineyards cover a surface area of 35 hectares, 26 of which are planted with Sauvignon Blanc grapes for the white wines and 9 hectares with Pinot Noir for the reds and the rosé. Most of the vines are in Bué, though they also have plots in the adjacent communes of Sancerre, Crézancy and Vinon. The wealth of Domaine Crochet’s vineyards is linked to their soils, which overlie calcareous clay rock and an Oxfordian or Kimmeridgian subsoil. The plots are located on east, south and west-facing slopes at altitudes varying between 240 and 280 metres, which allows them to harvest the grapes when they are at their optimum peak of ripeness.
“We live here and perpetuate our know-how with authenticity so that our wines reflect all that our vines and terroir represent for us.”