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Wilfrid Rousse, Loire, France

Wilfrid Rousse
Chinon, Loire Valley

Today, the Wilfrid Rousse Domaine cultivates vines on over 19.5 hectares, but it all started on a single hectare plot rented from Rousse’s grandfather in 1987. Rousse was just 23 when he produced that first vintage, which was sold mostly to family and friends.  

The Domaine’s distinctive signature is a historic weathervane depicting a mermaid that once donned the roof of the nearby 17th century medieval castle in Rousse’s hometown. The castle was at one point the residence of a former Admiral that governed the area. Legend has it that the Admiral, nostalgic for his naval past, installed this unique figurine on his property. The castle would have hosted King Charles VII several times, making the iconic weathervane a symbol of not only Wilfrid Rousee, but the deep history of the land. 

The vines, some over 80 years-old, are rooted in organic agriculture and located on the right bank of the Vienne in the West of Chinon, spanning three municipalities: Savigny-Véron, Véron-Beaumont and Chinon.

The Chinon parcels are located on the clay-flint plateau facing South. Water, silica, and clay are in perfect balance here and give the wine finesse and elegance.

‎In Beaumont-Veron, the soil is clay-limestone with concentrations of tufa. The wines from this region are more full-bodied. A small parcel, less than 1 hectare, of Chenin has also been planted on this soil.

‎Finally, in Savigny-Véron, the plots are composed of sand and gravel, a combination which has produced aromatic, plush wines.

Wilfried Rousee utilizes indigenous yeast, refrains from any filtration, and has prohibited sulfur additions to the wines for over a decade. Each parcel is vinified separately, with short to moderate temperature-controlled macerations lasting one to three weeks, depending on the cuvée. The barrels age in the perfect conditions of a traditional Tuffo cellar, which maintains stabile temperature and humidity for the wines.

Today, the Winery remains a family operation. Wilfrid watches over the vines, organizes the harvest and produces wine, and Annie manages the marketing and exports. A story with four hands that is written over the days and showcases more than a philosophy, a way of life: that of respect for the terroir and soils, of maintaining the balance of life to protect the ecosystem. A commitment and a story that we propose you to discover in the bottles.