At the source of the river and in the foothills of the Massif-Central, the estate is the rising star of this young AOC. And for good reason! Biodynamic cultivation and careful vinification allow the wines express with accuracy the ripeness of their fruit and the minerality of their granite terroir. Follow us to Auvergne to find out more.
Far from the prestigious sites of the Loire, the Domaine des Pothiers is a small discovery that has been making a name for itself for several years now. And yet, this modest property was actually created a few centuries ago by the Pothier family. At the source of the Loire River and in the foothills of the Massif Central, between Clermont-Ferrand and Lyon, the estate is located on the 200 hectares of the lesser-known Côtes Roannaises vineyard.
Let’s go back in time. In 1949, Benoit Paire inherited this property from his family-in-law (the Pothiers), where wine growing and cattle farming were combined. His son Georges took over in 1974 and devoted himself fully to his passion for wine. He and his wife replanted the plots and passed on their passion to their son Romain, who arrived in 2005 and gradually introduced organic and biodynamic farming.
Organics and biodynamics are the extension of a precise philosophy; to obtain delicious juices that express both the mineral granite terroir and the freshness derived from the estate’s altitude. To achieve this, Romain Paire ploughs his soils, allowing the roots to push deep into the earth and draw the necessary nutrients. He fertilises his Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Gamay-Saint-Romain vines with compost from his cattle farm, and aerates the bunches for optimal ripening. In the cellar, his approach is also carefully measured. De-stemming is not automatic, fermentation starts naturally thanks to the indigenous yeasts, extractions are gentle and the maturing in 500 litre barrels and in tuns does not bring any pronounced woodiness, leaving the fruit to express itself.
Sought after for their structure, their flavour and their beautiful balance, the cuvées are divided into five categories: the « fruit » wines, the « terroir » wines, the « parcel » wines, the « bubbles » and the « hidden gems ». One thing is certain, dear wine lovers, the Domaine des Pothiers is an Auvergne treasure that has risen to the top of this recent AOC, created in 1994. So, some friendly advice, don’t hesitate when it comes to the next addition to your cellar…
Domaine des Pothiers, what the guides say
Guide Vert de la RVF 2023 – 1*.
Close to the source of the Loire, the Côte Roannaise appellation stretches across the foothills of the Massif Central, at an altitude of between 400 and 500 metres. This little-known vineyard is located on sandy soils of granite origin. The local red grape variety is Gamay Saint-Romain, a variant of Gamay that is only found here. The white, IGP d’Urfé, comes from chardonnay and sometimes pinot gris. Passionate about vines, Georges Paire, from a family of breeders, began planting his vineyard in the 1970s. In 2005, his son Romain joined him. The planting continued, the winery was modernised and the estate turned to organic farming. Today, the estate’s main vocation is winegrowing, although it still keeps a small herd of Limousin cows. We appreciate the careful and sincere wines, of good quality. A modern and dynamic incarnation of the Côte Roannaise.
Bettane+Desseauve 2022 – 3 *
Romain Payre has become one of the best ambassadors of Gamay in the Côte-Roannaise where he has excelled for several vintages already on his 21 hectare estate. The reference cuvée is drunk on the fruit of its youth. The clos-du-puy and intégrale cuvées are from vines that are over 80 years old. A recommendable and reliable estate, whatever the vintage.