Domaine des Aubuisières
More than two decades have passed since I first called in on Bernard Fouquet at Domaine des Aubuisières, and I still recall my difficulty in locating his cellars on that inaugural visit. Having circled the town of Vouvray at least three or four times, I eventually gave up and instead went to knock on the door of Catherine Champalou (where I also had an appointment, but later in the day), and after tasting with her she was kind enough to give me directions to Bernard’s cave.
Looking back I now wonder how I could once have gotten so lost in this little town; Bernard’s domaine is fairly central and there are plenty of easy landmarks, but any new environment has the potential to confuse, and the unfamiliar streets of Vouvray certainly managed to send me dizzy on that day. Not so, however, ten or twenty years later. On more recent visits to Domaine des Aubuisières I simply follow my nose, and I seem to arrive at the cellars on the Rue de la Vallée de Nouy without difficulty. It is as if I have now installed a Vouvray autopilot.
These days, however, it is not Bernard (pictured above) who greets me here. In perhaps the most significant change of ownership in Vouvray since the Hwang family took possession of Domaine Huet, Bernard has handed over the running of his domaine to a young associate, Charles Lesaffre. The handover of responsibility was a little more rushed than originally planned, the gradual transition suddenly accelerated during the Covid-19 pandemic, Charles essentially taking over at the time of the 2020 harvest, with a formal handover coming in 2021. But I will come to Charles and his story in a moment; first we should take a closer look at the history of the domaine and the Fouquet family.Please log in to continue reading: