The name Chéreau has been prevalent in winemaking circles in the Nantais area of the Loire region for centuries. This particular branch of the family, however, did not enter the wine business until after World War II. Starting with only a small family plot in the early 1950s, Monsieur Chéreau senior set about acquiring more vineyards and property in Sèvre-et-Maine, the most notable being Château de Chasseloir in 1953, with its 15th-century tower, historic chai and 100-year-old plot of vines.
Chéreau’s marriage to Mademoiselle Carré also brought the vineyards of Château l’Oiselinière into the fold. Following this union, the business was renamed Chéreau-Carré in order to distinguish it from other growers with the Chéreau name and the couple’s business went from strength to strength.
The Society has been supplied with a wide range of exceptional-quality Muscadets from the Chéreau-Carré stable since the 1980s. Second generation Bernard Chéreau, is in charge of the whole family firm, which includes a number of domaines under the Chéreau-Carré umbrella, and today his daughter Louise works alongside him.
The Society’s Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine sur Lie also originates from their vineyards. Naturally, the melon de Bourgogne – or muscadet – grape is king here and there is extensive use of lees-ageing to provide an extra dimension to the wines. Sur liewines often have more character and Bernard’s wines prove they can develop in the bottle and cellar too, as most vividly displayed by the Cuvée des Ceps Centenaires, from 100-year-old vines, and Le Clos du Château. The Society has listed the former for many vintages, while the latter, a more recent arrival, is a prestige bottling from a perfectly exposed, mineral-rich plot, matured for 17 months on its lees (and hence, ironically, not allowed the sur Lie appellation).