The top from Sancerre! Grandfather Vacheron started his own wine estate in Sancerre about 50 years ago. In 1971 came the first private cellar, which is still in use today. He was succeeded by his two sons Denis and Jean-Louis. By setting extreme quality standards, within just a few years they were seen as one of the best winemakers in the Appellation. Now both sons are at the helm, Jean-Laurent, the son of Denis, and Jean-Dominique the son of Jean-Louis.
In total, the estate has about 50 hectares of land with a potential to make 400,000 bottles of wine, but due to the rigorous quality criteria they set, they rarely exceed a quarter of a million bottles. Whereas in the past yields per hectare were in the region of against 60 Hl/Ha, that has now dropped to 45 to 50 Hl/Ha. For the extraordinary 'Cru's' or 'parcellaire' as Jean-Laurent calls them, the yields are even much lower, between 30 and 40 Hl/Ha.
Vacheron has an excellent combination of vineyards, partly located on the eastern hills with Silex subsoil. The wines coming from these vineyards possess beautiful, ragged acidity, great minerality and length. These vineyards all lie east of the imaginary line that runs north-south right across Sancerre, overlooking the Loire. The other 50% of the vineyards lie on the western side of this line, where other famous Sancerre villages lie, Bué, Verdigny and Chavignol. Here the subsoil is less hard and possesses much more limestone. This gives wines with a wonderfully fresh, almost 'crisp' style. Elegant and pure.
All grapes are picked by hand and transported in small plastic containers to the winemaking room, in the steep and narrow streets of the heart of Sancerre. Unlike almost all other winemakers on site, Vacheron still actively uses oak barrels to age the wines in. They hardly ever buy new barrels, much preferring to buy used ones, but from top domains such as Domaine de la Romanée -Conti.
Vacheron is world famous for its wines from a single vineyard. These listen to such fine names as "Les Romains," "Le Paradis," "Chambarates" and "Guigne- Chèvres" and are all white. The differences between them are subtle and are influenced by the soil and exposition of the vineyard. It is a very interesting activity to taste these wines side by side to observe the fine character differences. The refined red wine is mentioned in the same breath as the Loire's all-time greats.