Domaine de la Bergerie, 2018 Update

Candle auctions were popular several centuries ago as the unpredictable end – the last bid received once the candle had spluttered out was deemed to be the winning bid – tended to encourage serious early bidding, and cut out those who hoped to buy with a sneaky last minute bid before the gavel went down. They have now largely gone out of fashion, although it was only back in 1961 that a fifth-generation vigneronne named Marie-Scholastique Horeau secured a parcel of vines in Champs-sur-Layon at just such an auction. In securing these vineyards, Marie-Scholastique set the scene for the creation of the modern-day Domaine de la Bergerie.

Within a few years – by 1964 in fact – Marie-Scholastique had passed the domaine on to her daughter Marie-Agnes and her husband, and in 1979 they were joined in their endeavours by their son, Yves Guégniard, who went on to expand the domaine, acquiring more distant vineyards in some of the region’s most prestigious appellations. During the time I have know this most reliable of Anjou domaines it has always been Yves at the helm, and I have done my best (and I think I have succeeded) to stop by and taste at least once a year, sometimes meeting up at the Salon des Vins de Loire in Angers, sometimes visiting the domaine in Champs-sur-Layon, and I recall we once even met up in London for a tasting and dinner.

Domaine de la Bergerie

Time and tide wait for no man, however, and it is now the turn of Yves to look to the next generation to step up. This has been a gradual and ongoing process, ever since his older daughter Anne joined him back in 2010, and in recent years it has been clear that Anne was increasingly taking charge. In 2018 she has been joined by her younger sister Marie, who initially studied psychology but left that behind to study viticulture and oenology in Montpellier. Following this she worked at Roc d’Anglade in the Languedoc, before returning home to take up the secateurs at Domaine de la Bergerie. The domaine is now home to sisters Anne and Marie, and I am looking forward to tasting many new vintages from this sororal partnership.

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