In 1996, Philippe Germain’s father, Bernard, bought Château de Fesles along with Château de la Guimonière and Château de la Roulerie from pastry chef Gaston Lenôtre. Lenôtre had bought these wineries in a fit of enthusiasm in 1991 following the wonderful vintages of 1989 and 1990, which unfortunately were followed by the severely frosted 1991, and very mediocre 1992, 1993, and 1994. Making great sweet wines in the Loire is risky. Fesles and Guimonière were sold off and Bernard kept Château de la Roulerie. In 2004, Philippe took full control and implemented winemaking at the Domaine, after renovation of all the buildings and installation of the equipment.
The domaine has a total of 42 hectares, 38 of them planted, divided between La Roulerie and Les Grandes Brosses, for a total of 17 parcels. The vines are planted at a dense 4500 plants per hectare on schistose soils, ideal for fine wine production. The vineyards are all on the slopes and oriented South-Southwest, critical for even ripening in this northerly vineyard. Yields are kept to a low 25-30 hectoliters/hectare.
Dry white wines have only been produced since the beginning of 2000. They were first going through malolactic fermentation, had a little residual sugar and a strong oak character. The style has since evolved in favor of more balanced whites with higher acidity, more elegance and discrete oak (Philippe now uses larger barrels, 600 and 700 liters). The wines are lightly filtered but never fined.
Certified Organic since the 2015 vintage. Since 2011, Philippe has started to convert to biodynamic farming and face the number of challenges presented by the conversion. The wines are vegan.
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