Domaine Guiberteau

Romain Guiberteau is imported to Chicago, Illinois by Candid Wines

who? what? when? where? why? how?

who grows the grapes at Domaine Guiberteau? who makes the wines?

Romain Guiberteau is the third generation on the estate, and  things have changed radically since he took over.  Romain’s grandfather was a pillar in the community of Saumur before and after World War II, long serving as the head of the local growers’ coop.   That coop long benefited from the grapes grown on Guiberteau’s land until Romain returned from college.

Today, Romain oversees the organic farm and does all the winemaking at the estate.  His vines date back to the years just after World War II and include some of the prime sites in and around Saumur.  Romain’s father Robert, a medical doctor, assisted in the transformation of the estate and you are likely to meet him at a tasting, explaining the history of the wines and the vines his mother and father planted.

Organic wines from Saumur by Domaine Guiberteau

what wines do they make at Domaine Guiberteau?

The estate is dedicated to two grapes: Cabernet Franc and Chenin Blanc.  Romain starts with an entry level version of each called “Domaine Rouge” and “Domaine Blanc”.   Made from younger vines at the Domaine and without oak barrels, these wines are ideal introductions to just how glorious and affordable wine the Loire Valley can be.

From there, the wines climb a ladder of complexity and ageability.  Single vineyard offerings include “Clos de Guichaux“, “Clos des Carmes“, and “Brézé” for the Chenin Blancs and “Les Motelles” and “Les Arboises” for the Cabernet Francs.   These are tremendous examples of both grapes that have aging potential similar to what one might expect from White Burgundy or Red Bordeaux.

Chenin Blanc from old vines in a single vineyard called Breze.

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when Domaine Guiberteau start?

The Guiberteau family has been growing grapes in the region of Saumur for more than one hundred years and has played a central role in the area’s viticulture throughout.  Romain’s great-grandfather began purchasing vineyard sites in the area before WWI.  His grandmother and grandfather continued, building not only a significant amount of land in the families name, but also leading the area towards more efficient production.  Romain’s grandfather served as the Mayor of their town and founded and ran the first cooperative for grapes in the area, dramatically improving the price farmers were paid for their harvest.

Romain Guiberteau and his father have reinvented the estate, starting in the mid 1990’s when Romain abandoned a career in law to return to his roots.  Select vineyards within the families holdings were pulled away from production for the Coop and converted to organic agriculture in Romain’s first year back.

A story of Domaine Guiberteau during WW II

where is Domaine Guiberteau?

Saumur is a town in the center of the Loire Valley, close to more well known appellations of Vouvray and Chinon. Like those two areas, Saumur’s grapes are Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc. Guiberteau’s vines include parcels in the Brezé site, adjacent to the Château de Brezé, which Romain is helping to develop as one of the finest single vineyards in the Loire.
Saumur, France.  Domaine Guiberteau

why is Domaine Guiberteau a Candid Wine?

Domaine Guiberteau is rapidly becoming the standard bearer for what can be achieved in with Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc in Saumur, if not the Loire Valley as a whole.  Old vines, exceptional vineyards, and an ambitious and talented young winemaker have made the wines a feature at top restaurants across France.  As Romain’s first importer in the US, we’ve enjoyed a privileged, front row seat to watch his ascension over the last few years. And he only seems to be getting better with each vintage.
Sorting Chenin Blanc in Saumur, France at Domaine Guiberteau

Sorting grapes at Domaine Guiberteau

how is the wine made at Domaine Guiberteau?

All grapes are grown organically and processed by hand. Sorting is severe. The “Domaine” wines are fermented in concrete tanks and see no wood – fruit and generosity being the goal. Single vineyard wines are raised in a combination of used and new oak, with extended contact with the lees. The single vineyard wines are intended to be aged and, we believe, will live for a decade or more.
Organic farming at Domaine Guiberteau in the Loire Valley