Known as the ‘wild man of Pouilly’ as much for his appearance as for his ideas, Didier Dagueneau was widely recognised not only as a brilliant winemaker but also the best producer in the appellation.
“Dagueneau is one of the great winemakers of our generation.”Denis Dubourdieu, consultant to Châteaux d’Yquem, Cheval Blanc and Margaux
Unlike many winemakers, Dagueneau didn’t start his career in wine, but instead racing sidecars. Following two nasty falls, his life took on a new direction and he set out to make the best Sauvignon Blanc possible and to redeem the reputation of Pouilly-Fumé.
When asked in an interview with Oliver Styles at Decanter Magazine why he went into wine, Didier’s response was - “I had a few scores to settle with the family, so I decided to make wine, to make better wine than them. That was my first motivation. So I decided to make the best Sauvignon Blanc in the world. Not at all pretentious for someone who’s been making wine for two years.”
One of the pioneers of biodynamics in the Loire, his success was due to the rigorous attention to detail he placed on every stage of the winemaking process from vineyard management to the cellar.
‘Due to a titanic level of work in the vineyard, his pure-bred Sauvignon Blancs act like a terroir sponge’ Michel Bettane, Le Grand Guide des Vins de France
“In view of how long Didier Dagueneau’s success has been recognized and how many ambitious Loire attempts at wooded Sauvignon prove inexpressive of their fruit and sites but depressingly similar to one another, one would think that the “methode Dagueneau” should be studied and adopted by at least a few other ambitious Loire growers.”David Schildnecht, The Wine Advocate
Didier sadly passed away at the tragically early age of 52 following an ultra-light aircraft accident. His son, Louis-Benjamin, now runs the Domaine following several years under his father’s tuition.
“We need not have worried. Louis-Benjamin has now completed two vintages on his own, and his 2008 and 2009 vintages are nothing less than splendid, fully the equal of any wine made by his father.” Jacqueline Friedrich, Los Angeles Times
“We have been experimenting here for 25 years in every area – vineyard management, winemaking, types of oak, time on lees - every single detail has been closely looked at, to establish precisely how we could produce the greatest possible wines from our soils. Today we know what we are doing. We still progress, and every year is different, but now any changes are at the margins.”Benjamin Dagueneau