In my explorations of Savennières I have covered, in considerable detail, the history of the appellation, beginning from the time the monks planted the first vines on the Roche-aux-Moines some time around the 12th century, through to current times. As the vineyard expanded during the last few centuries many of the grandes dames of the appellation appeared, including Château d’Epiré, Château des Vaults, Château de Varennes, Domaine aux Moines, Château de la Roche aux Moines and Château de Chamboureau. Five decades ago, these domaines dominated the appellation, defining what it was for a wine to be Savennières. More often than not, those wines were sweet.
In more recent times, however, Savennières has seen an influx of new blood. Some are well-established vignerons working the various terroirs of Anjou, who have stepped up to add a parcel of vines in this appellation to their portfolio. These included, among others, Château Pierre-Bise, Domaine de la Bergerie, Domaine Ogereau, Domaine des Baumard, and of course Jo Pithon. They each have their own story to tell, some more convoluted and complex than others. But then there came a third group, the young guns of Savennières. These characters came, in some cases, from winemaking families, but wanted to strike out on their own, while others were somewhat less experienced. Eric Morgat is one. Thibaud Boudignon is another. And then we have Damien Laureau (pictured above) who, despite being relatively new to wine and to Savennières, is today one of the top names in the appellation.