Domaine Saint Denis

The bald facts are that Hubert Laferrère is owner and winemaker at the Domaine Saint Denis in Lugny, but the truth of the matter is that he is somewhat more than that. The domaine is close to being the definition of a one-man-band with Hubert taking on every role from pruner to sales manager. He even builds or adapts his own farm machinery, being an agricultural engineer by training.

Over 20 years or so he has built up his holdings around Lugny and now owns 5 hectares of clay-limestone soils on which he nurtures his chardonnay and pinot noir vines. Quality and ecological awareness are the watchwords here. Biodiversity is important and cover crops are grown between vines, both to give the vines some competition to make them work a little harder and to encourage local flora and fauna. These crops are then ploughed in as a natural fertiliser.

Bunches are green harvested in the summer to lower yields and the ripe grapes, having been tasted and approved by Hubert, are hand picked parcel by parcel and sorted at the cellar to ensure that only the best fruit reaches the press. Every parcel is vinified separately and the final blend put together later, with any selections that Hubert is unhappy with being sold off to négociants. Fermentation utilises natural yeasts present on the grapes and in the winery and the wine spends some time in oak, only a small proportion of which is new so that the expression of the grape and terroir is clear. The minerality from this terroir and the freshness of the fruit shine brightly in the wines.

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