Visiting Domaine Foussier in SancerreBy Marisa D'Vari | October 10th, 2012 | Category: Loire, News | No Comments »
"Can you tell me how to reach Domaine Foussier?" I asked, first one driver and then another.
I had just rushed from lunch at the Michelin rated Restaurant La Tour in the main Sancerre village ... explaining my rush and not touched dessert and cheese on account of being precise for my appointment.
Yet traveling on foot, despite the Gucci high-heeled boots, was something of a welcome challenge. I really do not know anywhere in the world where one can walk on foot from a top restaurant to a top vineyard within the "promised" 15 minutes --- and I have been to many vineyards in the world.
In any event, many drivers pointed me in the right way and eventually I ended up at the right place which is very easily ten minutes from town if you are a fast walker and know where you are going.
Sales manager Valerie Doris met me in the vestibule of the winery ... I was fairly mesmerized by the many black and white photos of the family. Then Paul Foussier came down to meet me -- it was a great sacrifice on his part as the harvest was in full heat --
... and then his cousin Benoit arrived ...
Of course I was warned that visiting winemakers in Sancerre in the full heat of harvest was dangerous. Yet the sacred minutes I was able to spend with them was quite valuable.
Initially I spoke French -- then their English was much better -- and as time was of the essence I learned the key points about this winery.
So if I understood all correctly, their fathers about 12 years ago pretty much stopped using chemicals in the vineyards. These two men (perhaps now somewhere in their 30's?) took over from their fathers a number of years ago and began to make the vineyards both certified organic and biodynamic.
They use natural cork and will never go to screwcap.
Like other producers in Sancerre, animals and insects are not really a problem ... the key is the weather. And as you will read in the next blog post (okay, I will write it here) immediately after leaving this domaine I spent five minutes walking to Domaine Vincent Grall.
The weather during my walk was bright and sunny.
Four mintutes later - in the vineyard of Vincent Grall ...
.... there was this incredible storm and rain so intense I have never seen it before!
Ten minutes later, there was an innocent rainbow and all was bright and sunny once again.
So when Paul and Benoit told me about the weather during our talk I understood it intellectually. Yet it was that drenching rainstorm in another vineyard that made me realize yes, weather more than any insect or animal was a key concern in Sancerre.
Though I was invited to taste at Fouassier it was clear my half hour with them was taking them away from many kinds of emergencies stemming from the export manager showing them invoices that needed correction to some unknown to me issue in the vineyard.
Merci - excellent visit!