Domaine du Collier
Is it a blessing or a curse to be born to a great vigneron? Taking an outsider’s viewpoint, and one that rests on several decades of enjoying all wine has to offer, I would tentatively opt for the former. After all, being born to a vinous dynasty should provide you with one of the most insightful winemaking educations that is feasible, and if you’re really lucky you might one day inherit a smorgasbord of well-cared for vineyards on some famed côte. In short, with a little effort – and perhaps the odd stage or two in Australia or California – your future is secure.
I am sure, though, that not all offspring have this experience. They may not have the interest, and they may have some other calling. Alternatively, there may be a rift between one generation and the next. It’s not too hard to see how such a mismatch of personalities has shaped some early winemaking careers, with the late Didier Dagueneau – a true wild man who left home without so much looking at a pair of secateurs, only to return years later to tear Pouilly-Fumé apart – being one of the first examples that comes to mind.
So what are we to make of Antoine Foucault (pictured above), heir to what many would regard – myself included – as the Loire Valley’s leading domaine for red wines? The son of Charlie Foucault, and nephew to Nady Foucault, brotherly proprietors of Clos Rougeard, Antoine was working alongside his father for several years before he decided, in 1999, to go it alone. Is it the sign of some rift? Not at all it seems, as this account of Antoine Foucault and the Domaine du Collier will reveal.