The story begins in September 1992
Sylvie and Christian, a very young couple, settled at the Moulin de Chauvigné with only 3 hectares of vines in Savennières and Rochefort-sur-Loire. The beginnings were difficult. They had to build a cellar, buy equipment and build up a clientele.
From the very first instants, the roles are well defined: Christian will work in the vineyards and Sylvie will take care of the cellar.
Over time, they succeed in building customer loyalty, always growing and opening up to other markets in France, but also abroad.
The demand is such that Sylvie and Christian continue to expand the buildings as well as the vineyard area to reach 10 hectares.
The year of the heat wave.
In Anjou, the vines did not suffer from the dry weather thanks to 50 mm of rain, on July 14th and again on August 15th by chance, without any damage.
For the first time since the installation, the harvest began in August, before the beginning of the school year. Never seen before!
From now on, since 2003, the harvest often starts at the end of August, early September. The grapes are richer in sugar and less acidic. Often a large part of the harvest has gone into the cellar whereas before the harvest had just begun.
That year, a storage cellar came out of the ground. The advantage is to let the wines rest in a cool and dark atmosphere before arriving on your tables. A perfect place to keep the wines in the best conditions!
Sylvie and Christian already have 25 years of activity and 13 hectares of vines.
7 hectares in Savennières appellation and 6 hectares in Rochefort-sur-Loire in Coteaux du Layon, Rosé de Loire, Anjou Fines Bulles appellation and many others thanks to a wide range of grape varieties.
An undeniable achievement!
But the desire to live other adventures is very present. After several months of reflection, they decided to put the vineyard up for sale.
After a few years of difficult weather conditions and intense stress, the nasty frosts at the end of April hit their estate and those of their neighbors to reduce their harvest by 50%.
It is from this painful experience that the Sensory Trail was born. An idea of Sylvie, who wishes above all, to communicate positively.
On the morning of November 22nd, the vineyard is officially put up for sale.
But tragically, on that same day, Christian died suddenly of a cardiac arrest when he had just turned 51. For all his family, friends and colleagues, his departure was extremely violent.
Now without Christian, Sylvie does not project herself into the future and their adventure plans died with him. In spite of everything, she decided to retire the vineyard from sale and to continue the business in his memory.
The organization and distribution of work needs to be completely reconsidered. In a very short period of time, Sylvie was able to show her professionalism by surrounding herself with the best providers and advisors to run the estate and keep the vineyard beautiful and healthy, as Christian liked to see it. She continues to make the vinifications herself with passion. The arrival at the estate of their youngest daughter, Manon, who exercised her talents as a pastry chef at the Savoy, a famous 5-star hotel in London, marks a brand new beginning.
Sylvie's obtaining the HVE level 3 (High Environmental Value). It acts what was previously done by Christian in the vineyards. That is to say a high level of biodiversity and a very low use of inputs. Even if the HVE is a recent system, it remains dynamic with a little more than 2,200 certified farms throughout France in 2019.
That same year, we make two plantations, in high stem, in Savennières and Rochefort. This new planting system represents many advantages for the work of the vine.
After having gone through several hardships, Sylvie aspires to a better future and wishes with all her heart to continue at the side of her daughter, Manon, who is already well invested in the family business. They are supported by Marie, the eldest of the sisters, who, with her experience in the restaurant business, is turning to wine tourism and events in the estate.
It is also through you, dear ambassadors of the Cuvées des Elles, that the family estate continues to exist and we thank you warmly for this.