Domaine Boutet Saulnier
Meeting proprietors Christophe and Astrid Boutet-Saulnier at the domaine one bright and sunny spring afternoon, it was not long before Astrid offered to take me on a tour of their vineyards, and naturally I was quick to accept. After all, what better way is there to understand a domaine and its wines than through its vines?
I hopped into the passenger seat of Astrid’s white Peugeot 106 (not without first making the obligatory faux pas of trying to get in the driver’s side, having failed to make the mental adjustment from my right-hand-drive to her left-hand-drive motor). Within barely a minute we were touring the Vouvray plateau which – as you will know if you have ever looked at a map of the Vouvray appellation, or visited the region – is quite extensive.
It only took a few minutes; by the time we made only our second stop on this whirlwind tour I was completely disorientated, and further stop-offs only heightened the confusion. A parcel here. A micro-parcel there. What’s the name of this lieu-dit? “I’m not sure, I’ll ask Christophe”. Some parcels over there, in front of the trees. Another behind the cemetery. Suffice to say that the Boutet Saulnier vineyard is rather parcellated, and is scattered wide across the plateau above the cellars.
As this tour neared its conclusion, however, we came to the penultimate and final Boutet Saulnier assets, two micro-parcels, the Clos Dubois and Les Brosses. Neither are greater than 1 hectare, but each enjoys an exalted position on the première côte. Both are tended as if they are cottage gardens, by hand, each vine receiving a dedicated, personalised treatment, and both serve as a reminder that even in an appellation such as Vouvray – to which I have been a regular visitor for at least two decades – there is still much to discover.Please log in to continue reading: