Profound local knowledge and foresight set the scene for the story of Domaine Guiberteau. In 1954, Robert Guiberteau recognised the potential of the terroir in Saumur and purchased several hectares on the hill of Brézé.
Notably, he purchased the Clos des Carmes, considered to be one of the grand crus of the Loire Valley. Robert worked the vines until his retirement in the mid-1970s when the domaine was farmed out. At the end of a lease cycle in the mid-1990s, Romain Guiberteau – grandson of Robert – decided to take on the management of his family’s vineyards instead of returning to law school. The leases weren’t renewed, and Romain searched out advice from other locals to help on his journey.
Under the mentoring of Clos Rougeard’s Nady Foucault, Romain produced 5,000 bottles of red wine that sold easily. This success convinced him to follow qualitative winemaking and he gradually returned vines to the estate as leases expired with the cooperative. Romain also sought advice from Thierry Germain of Domaine des Roches Neuves and has a strong friendship with Benjamin Dagueneau. It’s clear to see these producers have influenced the Guiberteau domaine although Romain has absolutely made the wines his own.
In 2000 he converted to organic practices and achieved AB organic certification in 2007. The inspiration from his great mentors and the exceptional quality of Guiberteau’s land is reflected in the intense and penetrating wines he produces. Romain Guiberteau is seen as genuinely challenging the status quo of the Loire Valley’s traditions.
In a relatively short time, Guiberteau has become one of the most sought after domaines in Saumur, a reputation created from hard work, inspiration but also his grandfather’s vision for the land he purchased many decades ago.
“Romain Guiberteau owns some of the best land in Brézé, and makes dry chenins of punk rock violence, yet of Bach-like logic and profoundness. He is creating quite a stir,” Becky Wasserman