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Deboutbertin

Stéphanie Debou & Vincent Bertin (hence Deboutbertin) didn't come from a wine background, but rather grew disillusioned with city life. They fell in love with wine and took the plunge; studying & interning before laying roots. They farm biodynamically & make soulful natural wines with nothing added & nothing removed.

LITTLEWINE spoke with Stéphanie on the phone

"When you work with a horse, you just feel something different in the quality of the soil. I don’t know what it is - it’s more gentle of course, but it also brings a balance and an energy."

People:  Stéphanie Debou & Vincent Bertin

Place:  Anjou, Loire

Varieties:  Chenin Blanc, Pineau d'Aunis, Cabernet Franc, Grolleau

Hectares:  10 (4 planted to vines) 

Farming:  Organic with elements of agroforestry

Wines: Click here

Did You Know?  Vincent has a passion for trees and is involved with the Association, Croqueurs de Pommesan association that believes in safeguarding the genetic diversity of fruit trees. One member described how he had a sick fruit tree. He planted another fruit tree next to it, and the sick tree recovered. When he moved it away, the tree became sick again. It is this association and symbiotic nature of plants that fascinates them both. While they don’t know yet whether the combination of fruit trees amongst vines will benefit the health of the vines, it will be a fascinating journey to follow.  

Stéphanie has an affinity for their Grolleau parcel. It has a particular talent:

“It’s amazing. Last year we lost 100% to frost, but the Grolleau recovered so quickly that we had a normal harvest after all. Also, it almost never gets sick even though it’s 60 years old. It might get a touch of mildew, but never anything serious.” 

They also have Pineau d’Aunis—an ancient variety from the region that is unfortunately often overlooked, but which is enjoying a resurgence with artisan winemakers who love the exciting peppery aromatics. Unfortunately, you cannot make an Anjou AOC labelled red wine from the variety, so it must be declassified as vin de France. It’s these politics that made them decide to work with the vin de France designation for all their wines. 

“Pineau d’Aunis is an amazing variety if you don’t ask too much from it, but if you demand it to produce a lot, then it will have one amazing harvest followed by a mediocre harvest. But we don’t, so we don’t have that problem. The harvest is always beautiful and the fruit is so healthy. The parcel is never sick - it’s one of our easiest to work with.” 

“We did a blind tasting of two wines: one had no sulfites and one had just 2g. The one without sulfites was just extraordinary—it was something else entirely. That gave us a sudden realisation that...

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