HISTORY OF DOMAINE: Philippe Foreau is the third generation of the Foreau family to produce Vouvray from this fabled domaine which his grandfather purchased in 1923. Philippe assumed the direction of the domaine in 1983 upon the retirement of his father, Andre. Today the domaine consists of 11 1/2 hectares planted to Chenin Blanc.
COMPOSITION OF DOMAINE: The vineyards are located in the northeast corner of Vouvray, sited mid-hill with 100% south/southeast/southwest exposures. The principal vineyards are known as "Les Perruches" and "Les Ruettes". The average age of the vines is approximately 35 years. Yields over the past 10 years have averaged 33 hectoliters per hectare. The vineyards are tended pursuant to organic methods - without the use of herbicides and worked with organic fertilizers. Production levels are approximately 30,000 bottles per annum of still wine and 25,000 bottles annually of sparkling wine made following the traditional "champagne" method.
METHOD OF VINIFICATION: Harvest is done manually with numerous passes through the vineyards to select ripe grapes bunch by bunch. Crush is done with a pneumatic press and fermentation occurs in barrels of 300 liter size. The barrels are of varying age with a renewal of about 5% annually. Malolactic fermentation never occurs. The wines ferment slowly in the cave over a two month period at about 16 degrees Centigrade. The wines are racked twice before bottling which occurs for the still wines normally in mid-May of the year following harvest. Foreau never chapitalizes his wines; demi-sec and moelleux cuvees are only made in years when the grapes naturally reach a high degree of ripeness. The sparkling wines remain on the lees for 48 months to achieve maximum richness and complexity; disgorging occurs once each quarter. Philippe Foreau's wines age remarkably. Each wine exhibits an extraordinary panoply of flavors and aromas of fruit, floral and earth elements.