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Catherine & Pierre Breton

The coming together of Catherine & Pierre Breton is not just a beautiful romance, but also the combination of Bourgueil and Vouvray. Together with their family, they tend their vineyards of Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Franc and Grolleau biodynamically, and make soul-searching natural wines; from Crémant to carbonic.

LITTLEWINE visited the Bretons during harvest 2020

"The balance definitely comes from working organically. Even if it’s not something you can taste straightaway, it’s the balance in the primary materials – in the grapes – that we work towards."

People:  Catherine & Pierre, son Paul, and their daughter France and her partner Baptiste 

Place:  Bourgueil, Chinon & Vouvray, Loire, France

Varieties:  Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Franc and Grolleau

Hectares:  14

Farming:  Biodynamic (Demeter certified)

Wines: Click here

Did You Know?  

La red cuvée of La Dilettante, French for the Dabbler – alluding to their experimental nature, was spearheaded by Catherine in 2002. They had been inspired by wines from other regions, namely Beaujolais, that were made according to the carbonic maceration technique; resulting in a lighter style of wine with silky tannins.

Pierre began experimenting with no-sulfites-added in 1994 with the flagship cuvée Nuit d'Ivresse (which is still made every year, always without sulfites added), and since they have always kept to a minimum. No sulfites are added during the fermentations, and only a small amount at bottling (the reds contain less than 20mg/L and the whites less than 50mg/L). 

Creating wine with little sulphites takes skill. Baptiste explains,

“Once the wine has finished fermenting, we quickly put it into barrel and make sure it doesn’t see any light. Then, it stays 18 months in barrels. When we bottle it, we ensure to give it oxygen beforehand to avoid too much reduction. Once in bottle, when you serve it, we always recommend opening the wines one hour before. All of our wines can do with being opened for a while; Cabernet Franc is a variety that’s naturally reductive so they benefit from some air!” 

"We are afraid of higher alcohol levels in the hotter years. Heat and then rain can result in unbalanced wine, but we have higher acid, so generally we’re okay. We’ve just become...

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