Domaine des Huards has been in the Gendrier family since 1846. In the 1950s, the family farmed 10 acres of vines, mostly Romorantin. In the 1960s, more parcels were planted as their focus on the domain’s viticulture increased significantly. In the 1970s, Michael, the seventh-generation Gendrier, quit using chemicals in the vines and moved in an organic and then biodynamic direction, receiving certification in 1998. His son Alex grew up with biodynamics and is now full time at the domain with Michael, helping to manage its 94 acres of vines (along with 91 acres of forest and fields, plus a herd of sheep.
The domain is in Cheverny, an appellation of close to 1,600 acres in eastern Touraine, about a third of the way from Tours to Sancerre. It’s also in the tiny appellation of Cour-Cheverny, which currently has a vineyard surface of a mere 130+ acres dedicated solely to the rare Romorantin (Chevnery, the sister and overlapping appellation, is reserved for a range of other Loire varieties).
All of Huards’ vines are within 850 meters of the winery, meaning that the grapes arrive to the press freshly hand-harvested—they do not buy any outside fruit—and from vine to bottle every step is done as simply and transparently as possible. Ferments are spontaneous, stainless steel is preferred for upbringing because it’s the most neutral, and the only addition to the wine is a small amount of SO2. There’s no fining and only a light filtration at bottling.
Just what it says, a very pure, precise and classy white blend of 85% Sauvignon Blanc and 15% Chardonnay that ages on its fine lees in tank before bottling early in the new year following harvest (usually February). Malolactic fermentation is never forced, and sometimes it happens, sometimes not, sometimes, as in 2018, a part of the wine undergoes ML. Vines average 30 years of age.