At a time when modern oenology triumphs, we often have a tendency to forget that a great wine is conceived above all with the vine: ploughing of the ground, output control, canopy management, manual grape harvesting and respect of the biotope. Ahead of its time, Le Domaine de l'écu has been certified as an organic agriculturist since 1975 and certified in Biodynamics since 1988 (Demeter) for the whole if its 22 hectares. In addition, we have renounced all artificial technology in our cellars to break with the movement of standardization of wines and preserve the bond linking each one of our vats to a particular soil and a particular vintage. For this reason, we are proud to belong to the group "Renaissance des Appellations" who strongly recommend this respect of the soil and who gather together a large number of the great French wine producers. Enamored to restore the reputation of the vineyards of the Nantes region, we produce dry white wines for keeping which are at the same time crystal clear, of a great purity and impressed with an exacerbated minerality. Our three "Grande Cuvée de Terroir", Gneiss, Orthogneiss and Granite are today present at the grandest tables all over the world. Muscadet is a high-class white wine of the Loire Valley - spread the word!
All his life, Guy Bossard has been in harmony with Mother Nature. From childhood through to adolescence it was always his ambition to become a wine producer like his father, his Grandfather and previous generations of his family. From 1970, with the arrival of chemical fertilisers and weed killers, many winegrowers turned towards this "modernity". The results are spectacular but the adverse effects have not yet been measured. Quickly, with a little observation and common sense, we can see that all is not idyllic.
Within the Bossard family, we prefer to continue to work with the soil and use organic fertilizers. On his return from military service in 1972, Guy had a formidable secure income from an estate that was free from all traces of chemical products. He opted for the "BIO" and applied for certification. Rumors were rife among his neighbors and colleagues "This young fellow will ruin the estate in no time", but Guy persisted, even though it was not easy.
Quickly, he became interested in biodynamics but he needed to meet with Mark Angéli and other biodynamists before taking that final step. He started in 1992 and requested the DEMETER certification in 1996 on the whole of his production. Guy loves to show his visitors the different soils that he uses and the difference between soil that is "worked" and soil that is "chemically enhanced". His soil is pliable and smells good, the other is as expressive as a handful of sand and to coin a phrase "contains as much life as the Sahara Desert". In the vineyards it is good to collect plants throughout the seasons, a botanist has, incidentally, indexed more than a hundred different plants "saved by the ravages of weed killers".
In the 2010's Guy Bossard was looking for someone to take over the winery and found in Fred Niger the right successor. He is a long time wine passionate and dedicated to maintaining the culture and tradition of biodynamics in the estate. To make sure the transition was smooth, Guy has been working for a 3 years as a consultant with Fred both in the vineyard and in the cellar.
Guy is not involved anymore at the Domaine, as he retired completely in 2013.
The domaine is located in the hamlet of Le Landreau in Sèvre et Maine, Muscadet's best region of production. The family has been producing wine there for 5 generations, but former owner Guy Bossard defies the prevailing view that organic producers can't make great wine. The estate became organic in 1975, and biodynamic in 1986. Guy Bossard has been making his own compost using algae, forest brush and basalt. He produced 3 different cuvees, each masterfully crafted to highlight the expression of the specific soil types.
Fred Niger, owner since 2011, is farming 17 hectares (42 acres) entirely using biodynamic methods. The average age of the vines is 55 years.
The wines are fermented "sur lie", on the yeast, to prevent oxidation and impart full flavor and a slight spritz to the finished product.