The first Vacheron vineyards in Sancerre were purchased by Jean Vacheron in the 1950’s. Since then, his sons Jean-Louis and Denis and latterly their sons, Jean-Dominique and Jean-Laurent, have become the family’s third generation of winemakers.
They now farm 37 hectares which are planted with Sauvignon Blanc and a small amount of Pinot Noir. These vineyards are planted on three different soils – flint, chalk and pebbles (cailloux). The wines are vinified and stored separately; the balance of the final cuvée is adjusted to achieve the best style before bottling.
The Vacheron’s maintain that tradition need not be a handicap, nor should it halt progress, but that it remains a constant point of reference. The main objective for this extraordinarily dedicated and forward-looking family business is to produce wines of the very highest quality. Grapes are picked manually: a team of 60 people is employed to return a healthy and complete vintage. The cellars are superbly equipped, and the wines are not filtered.
The Vacherons have not used chemical fertilisers in their vineyards for more than 20 years, they use only organic manures which carry the label ‘Nature et Progrès’. Nor do they use chemical weed killers in 35 hectares of their vineyards. Almost all, 31 hectares, are dug over and weeded traditionally – by hand – and the remaining four hectares are weeded and maintained by machine. Pests are repelled using a biological process known as ‘confusion sexuelle’.