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Onshore Cellars - ICONIC Producer
Located across six localities in the north of Sancere, the Claude Riffault domaine consists of 13.5 hectares of vines, made up of 10.5 hectares of Sauvignon Blanc, and three hectares of Pinot Noir. The father and son team focus on maintaining the balance between the earth and the vine, always attentive to the climate. The vines are closely followed and tended to based on age, exposure and grape variety. Likewise, each locality has its own unique geology, and therefore the grapes are vinified and aged separately, to preserve their individual terroir.
Interview with Claude Riffault, Owner and Winemaker
We can see in your wines some Burgundy influence, is this coming from your previous experience in the region? In first, I studied and live in Beaune during 5 years and I tasted a lot of wines in 100% Pinot Noir and 100% Chardonnay varieties. Here, in Sancerre, we vinify 100% Sauvignon for whites and 100 % Pinot noir for red but there is a lot of common points with the Burgundy style. I worked few weeks in Olivier Leflaive estate in 1998 and it was a very interesting experience. Moreover, my brother manages with Emilie the Etienne Sauzet in Puligny Montrachet, so I have a true link with the Burgundy vineyard.
You are part of the new generation of winemakers in Sancerre, how would you like to see the region evolve in the next decade? We have a mosaic of soils, with a lot of Kimmeridgian, limestone and flint. I would like a classification of place names with a ranking like the climates of Burgundy.
What are your future plans for the winery? To continue to improve, I don't want increase the size of the estate. I would like do longer maturations in barrels and foudres for whites to have more precision in the definition of wines and a better ageing in bottle.
You have recently been awarded “winemaker of the year” by the Guide Bettane et Desseauve, what does this recognition mean to you? Of course, I am very happy with this recognition because Mr. Bettane and Mr. Desseauve are the best wine critics in France but for me the most important is that we are in the real way to do Sancerre wines and this award says also "continue and be better."
What’s the best food pairing for Les Chailloux? My favourite pairing with Chailloux is a tartare of trout or salmon or scallop. It's nice also with a crab salad with avocado.
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