- Menetou Salon, Pouilly-Fumé, Sancerre, Loire, France
The Lauverjat family has been farming in Sancerre for generations in the tiny village of Sury-en-Vaux. For many years, the family had a mill on a tiny river called La Belaine that is next to the winery and they used to mill their own wheat; the winery is still known by some as the "Moulin des Vrillères".They have 110 hectares of grains, including wheat, hops, and rapeseed and 13 hectare of vines in Sury-en-Vaux and Sainte-Gemme-en-Sancerrois, two small villages within the Sancerre appellation. In 2019, Karine's son, Kevin joined Karine's husband, Christian at the winery after finishing his studies in Beaune. Their daughter, Suzie, helps Karine run their wine and gift shop in the center of Sancerre.
Sury-en-Vaux and Sainte-Gemme sit next to each other, which is a big risk in terms of weather because the vines are in a small area and for that reason, they purchase fruit in tough years. They purchase from cousins or other family friends and the intention is to give them an insurance of survival in case their vineyards are damaged, rather than to make more wine. They farm following sustainable viticulture. They favor working the soil and have used a pulverized seaweed to combat disease since 2008, allowing them to reduce chemical treatments for mildew by 30%. They never use herbicides or pesticides and they grow grass in the rows to prevent erosion.
They make Sancerre in all three colors, white, rose and red. They have a special old-vine parcel of Sauvignon Blanc that is bottled on it's own and it's called "Perle Blanche". They also have a small parcel just outside of the Sancerre appellation that is an IGP Sauvignon. They have an excellent Menetou-Salon and Pouilly-Fume in their line up as well. In the cellar the whites are made in thermo-regulated tanks and the reds are made in large wooden conical tanks. Several years ago, they invested in a new clay filtration system that allows them to very gently filter the wines without stripping them of their character. The wines from Lauverjat undoubtedly represent some of the best values to be had from the appellation. www.sancerre-online.com