Le Domaine de la Pépière – Marc Olivier and Rémi Branger
Strangely, this Domaine is rather unknown in France, most of its production being exported, mainly to the United States. Would French people still be affected by preconceptions ?
Muscadet has long been under the influence of trade, which may have been a good thing at first, but traders finally imposed a standardised product, a ‘Vin de Pays’, a single Muscadet. Then vines started to be planted all over, in indifferent quality soils , and that is how the reputation of this ‘appellation’ deteriorated. A story not very different from what has happened to Beaujolais.
But fortunately, and as in the case of Beaujolais, a few rebel wine-growers, well aware of the exceptional value of their soils and subsoils, have chosen to make wines the way they wanted to, with the greatest respect for their terroir.
Le Domaine de la Pépière has been created by Marc Olivier in 1984, out of family vineyards, and has developed through the acquisition of selected parcels on the best granitic lands of the river Maine. Rémi Branger, also heir of a tradition of local wine-growers, joined Marc in 2010.
The cultural methods used (close pruning, soil preparation, vegetal compost, manual harvest) have eased the natural evolution of the Domaine towards biological agriculture. The sulphur level has been drastically brought down, but Marc and Rémi do not claim to be part of this new school of ‘vins naturels’, precision remaining the rule for him.
Everything is done here to produce great pure and mineral wines.
The Domaine is AB (Agriculture Biologique) certified since 2007.
The wines are delicious young but also possess astonishing ageing potential.