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Updated: Jul 17, 2023

How Romain went from selling grapes to becoming one of the world’s best winemakers

Two winemakers sorting through a bin of Cabernet Franc wine grapes in a wine cellar in Saumur France.
Romain Guiberteau and Brendan Stater-West Sorting Cabernet Franc

  • The vineyard was founded by Clément Manguin, Romain's great grandfather, at the beginning of the 20th century.

  • The vineyard was passed on to Clément's son-in-law, Robert Guiberteau, who became a talented winemaker and one of the founding members of the cave cooperative of Saumur.

  • In 1939, Robert, Romain Guibeteau’s grandfather, was conscripted and soon thereafter captured by the German army, leaving Robert's mother to take over the vineyard during his father's captivity. Watch Romain’s father tell the family story during WWII in this interview.

  • During WWII, with German soldiers occupying their farmhouse, Robert's mother purchased the family’s first piece of land in Brézé, which was something his father had dreamed of.

  • Romain Guiberteau’s grandfather farmed the estate, selling grapes to the coop he helped found, until he retired in 1975 and contracted with a neighbor to maintain the vines.

  • Twenty years later, struggling to find the interest in law-school, Romain returned home.

  • For two years in the mid 1990’s Romain worked as an assistant with his family friends and neighbors, the Foucault brothers of Clos Rougeard.

  • In 1997, Romain took over the land maintained by his grandfather and made his first few barrels of red wine, surprising his father with the wine’s quality and showing how easily his wines could be sold. For a number of years, he continued to sell most of the grapes to the cooperative.

  • In 2002, Romain merged the vineyards of his father and his uncle, selecting the best terroirs and increasing to 14 hectares of land from which he produces red and white wines.

  • The famous Clos des Carmes was resurrected by Romain and first bottled in 2007, the first year that Candid Wines becomes Domaine Guiberteau’s first importer in the United States.

  • Brendan Stater-West arrived in France in 2012, convincing Romain to take him on as an assistant.

  • Romain and Brendan have developed a strong relationship over the last decade, working together in pursuit of what they call “ethereal wines” and challenging conventional views of what Cabernet Franc from Saumur can be while pushing the Chenin Blanc to ever greater heights.

  • Today, the Brendan makes wines under his own label as well as working as Vineyard and Cellar Manager for Domaine Guiberteau.


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