The appellations of Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé, Menetou-Salon and the Coteaux du Giennois are closely approximated to one another, and naturally there is a degree of cross-fertilisation. Many vignerons located in one appellation own vines in another. For some the appeal is the addition of a good-value entry-level wine, perhaps from Menetou-Salon or the Coteaux du Giennois, to a portfolio otherwise dominated by more pricy Sancerre or Pouilly-Fumé. Alternatively, for those working in the Pouilly-Fumé appellation, which is exclusively white, Menetou-Salon, Sancerre and the Coteaux du Giennois offer the possibility of adding a red or rosé wine to their range.
Even the region’s most famous names are prone to exploring neighbouring appellations. Louis-Benjamin Dagueneau, based up on the butte of St-Andélain in the Pouilly-Fumé appellation, has continued working with the vines on Les Monts Damnés, in Chavignol, that his father Didier acquired. Domaine Tinel-Blondelet, Domaine Masson-Blondelet and various others do something similar. Another to add to this list of names working across several appellations is Vignobles Berthier.
Vignobles Berthier is home to the Berthier family, who have been living in the region for at least six generations, and presumably they have pruned a vine or two during that time. Having said that, it was not until the 5th generation, Jean-Marie Berthier, came along, that the family would make a name for themselves in the region. It was Jean-Marie, father to the incumbents Clément and Florian Berthier, who first established the domaine in Sancerre during the 1980s. He christened it Domaine de Clairneaux.
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