DOMAINE DE L'HYVERNIERE - Loire
A celebrated name in the Loire Valley, this estate at the turn of the 20th Century was the largest vineyard in the Nantes region. Dismantled after World War I, the Sautejeau family managed to rebuild it and bring it back to its former glory.
Accredited by TERRA VITIS a standard for sustainable agriculture.
Château de L'Hyvernière has a special place in the history of this region; the first historical documents relating to the Chateau date back to the fifteenth century, and were written chiefly by the descendants of Spanish nobleman François de Bruc. The family remained at the helm for 352 years, and the Château prospered until the Revolution, when a fire razed it to the ground.
Rising again from its ashes, the Château finally changed hands, and was sold lock, stock and barrel shortly after the First World War. In 1922, Auguste Sautejeau acquired the Estate and transformed it into a vast wine-growing operation. In 2007 Château de l’Hyvernière became part of the Castel Estates and Vineyards family.
L’Hyvernière is the proud owner of a very attractive winery housed in one of the Estate’s outbuildings. The winery’s technical equipment is made exclusively from stainless steel, and is temperature controlled to ensure absolute precision in every step of the vinification process. In keeping with tradition in the Nantes area, the winery also has some 20 tanks located underground and a modest barrel-house, set aside for making the more exclusive cuvées.
Wines are made on a plot by plot basis. A different strain of yeast is used for each parcel of vineyard, specifically selected to bring out the particular features of the terroir. Fermentation takes place at a temperature of 16°C for a period of around 24 days.
And finally, the last stage is to mature the wine on its lees for a period of 6 months.
Castel Estates and Châteaux family.
An Environmentally Responsible Approach
The Castel Estates in the Muscadet area take their environmental responsibilities very seriously indeed, and base their activities on the principles of Sustainable Agriculture. La Botinière and L’Hyvernière were granted Terra Vitis certification for 2009. Clos des Orfeuilles is currently in conversion to organic methods.
An environmentally conscious approach involves a high level of vine management work, including :
- Soil analysis
- Zonal monitoring
- Ploughing the best terroirs
- Controlled yields
- Management of leaf to fruit ratio
- Planting density of 6,500 vines per hectare, higher than the regional average
- Grassing down between rows to control vigour