a rigorous and precious terroir

The Domaine Gérard Fiou covers a total of 9ha80, planted with Sauvignon blanc and Pinot noir. The plots are gathered on a flinty hillside (clay-siliceous soil) of Saint-Satur, at the foot of the peak of Sancerre and less than a kilometer from the Loire.

The flint represents 20% of the terroirs of Sancerre, alongside the "terres blanches" (40%) and the "caillottes" (40%). It is therefore the rarest and most characteristic terroir of the appellation which extends over 14 communes along the left bank of the Loire. Domaine Gérard Fiou has developed an expertise in working with this demanding terroir which produces lively wines with a characteristic minerality.

Sauvignon Blanc and flint

A grape variety known to be particularly sensitive to the terroir and magnificently reproduce its specificities when it is well worked. The bunches are cone-shaped, with tightly packed grapes, a thick skin and a firm and crunchy flesh. On flint, white wines made from Sauvignon blanc evolve favorably and literally reveal themselves when they are aged and kept for several years.

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Pinot noir and flint

Pinot noir is the emblematic grape variety of Burgundy, a wine region close to Sancerre. It has been known since the 14th century. The bunches are pine cone-shaped, the berries are small and tightly packed with an ovoid shape. The skin is thin and soft, with a bluish color. The flesh of the Pinot noir and its juice are colorless, it is the skin of the berries that during the maceration will give its cherry color with purple reflections to the red Sancerre. Because of its sensitivity, Pinot noir can only thrive in temperate climates and on draining soils. On flinty soils, it acquires a smoky nose and a minerality that are strikingly deep. Maturing will give it woody or roasted notes that will enrich its complexity.

The old vines of the estate benefit from a temperate climate with temperatures ranging from -7°C in winter to 34°C in summer. With an average of 123 days of rain per year (between 600 and 800mm of precipitation), our parcels are the ideal terrain for the expression of the Sancerre grape varieties. They take advantage of a mild spring, hot summer weather and a sunny autumn to concentrate in their berries the exceptional organoleptic specificities of the flinty clay of the left bank of the Loire.

The hilly landscape of Sancerre, between hills and hillsides, is inherited from the collapsing of a geological fault that has brought together under our feet soils of a rare richness, as evidenced by the famous flints of Saint-Satur, deposited there about 100 million years ago. This hilly terrain, which is specific to Sancerre and which makes the beauty of our vineyard (elected Favorite Village in France in 2021), contributes to the existence of microclimates which give the wines of Sancerre their unique characteristics, depending on the location of the plots.

Long considered too difficult to cultivate, the flinty soil is now one of the most interesting in the Sancerre appellation for many of its winegrowers. The vineyard is encouraged by natural viticulture methods (limited irrigation, minimal fertilization, work on drainage of the soil, etc.). The vine is encouraged by natural viticulture methods (limited irrigation, minimized fertilizer, work on soil drainage, etc.) to draw the energy necessary for its development from deep in the soil, which brings its roots into contact with the flints that make the wines of Domaine Gérard Fiou so distinctive. They will, among other things, play a key role in the ripening of the berries by taking all the heat of the day to give it back to the vine at night. The flint will bring minerality, freshness and longevity to the wine.

The vine and the Loire

The Loire River also shapes the wines of Domaine Gérard Fiou, just like the winemaker. Located below the Sauvignon blanc and Pinot noir plots, the "wild" section of the Loire River makes its way less than a kilometer from our vines. It has a direct impact on our harvest, by participating in the microclimates that characterize the variety of Sancerre terroirs. Throughout the year, the Loire contributes to the ripening of our grapes by playing with its mists, its freshness and its biodiversity.

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