Château de Fosse-Sèche, a century-old history
A winery founded by Benedictine monks
The creation of Château de Fosse-Sèche is estimated to have taken place between the year 800 and 1000 AD. At the time, the region’s Benedictine monks founded the vineyard to produce wine for the parish. The estate then remained Church property for several centuries, as the estate belonged to the priory of Saint-Pierre de Montreuil-Bellay, also attached to the parish of Saint-Hilaire de Rillé, until the 15th century. The estate was even linked to the priory by means of a tunnel that stretched over five kilometres.
Thus, today at Fosse Sèche, traces of these very ancient roots are present, notably the vats which are among the oldest masonry wine vats in France. Château de Fosse-Sèche is also home to other historical treasures such as a chapel, a communal oven and a dovecote.
A modern estate elevated by the ambition and vision of two twin brothers
When Guillaume Pire and his mother Françoise arrived at Fosse-Sèche in 1998, it was love at first sight. The decision to settle in this estate and to produce unique wines was made immediately. Passionate about wine and ecology, Guillaume carried out major work around the vinification process and marketing of the estate's wines. When he was joined by his twin brother Adrien in 2010, he breathed new life into the philosophy of the estate that has been instilled since its very beginnings. He helps his brother in the vineyard as well as with administrative and accounting tasks. Along with their partners, they imagine some of the world’s most unique wines together and boast their passion for wine and nature.
A Loire vineyard with a unique geology
Located in the heart of the Saumur vineyard, Château de Fosse-Sèche enjoys an exceptional geological structure. Indeed, the Saumur region is almost entirely composed of Turonian, or limestone soil. Very well known by the inhabitants of the region, this stone is even called ‘’tuffeau’’ and is widely used to build houses. It is also the material that adorns the walls of the famous châteaux and churches of the Loire Valley.
However, on the 15 hectares of vineyards at Fosse-Sèche, the soil is far from the composition that can be found elsewhere in the Saumur region. It is in fact mainly composed of flint and iron oxide and therefore forms a Jurassic soil. The Turonian soils date back 90 million years, the Jurassic soils were formed 200 million years ago, thus making the estate one of the region's great geological mysteries. Combined with a cool and windy exposure, the warmth of the flint enabled the estate to offer wines with a very unique structure.
Wines that respect the environment thanks to biodynamic practices
An ecological philosophy to preserve the environment
Since 1998, the estate has been firmly based on this principle: to devote one third of the Fosse-Sèche land to the cultivation of vines and to dedicate the remaining two thirds to the preservation of biodiversity and nature. Thus, 30 hectares are entirely used for the development of ecosystems. Therefore, 30 types of flowers, 60 species of birds and 116 species of insects thrive on the estate. This census of species was attained thanks to a naturalist who spent three months on the estate.
An organic and biodynamic estate boasting Ecocert and Biodyvin labels and classified as an LPO refuge
Château de Fosse-Sèche is working to protect biodiversity, notably by using 100% renewable French electricity, by sowing seeds for the past fifteen years, by digging a pond twenty years ago, by planting trees, by organising the production of nectar and pollen, by measuring the level of organic carbon in the soil and nitrogen-15 in the leaves of the trees.
To certify the quality of the measures carried out by the estate, Fosse-Sèche boasts an array of titles. Thus, the estate is recognised as a player in organic farming thanks to the ECOCERT label, a player in biodynamic farming thanks to the Biodyvin label and a refuge for birds thanks to the Ligue de la Protection des Oiseaux title.
Where to enjoy the wines by Château de Fosse-Sèche?
The wines of Château de Fosse-Sèches are unique, and their rare identity blending precision, purity and power deserves to be discovered and utterly relished. One can taste these fine wines in close to 200 Michelin-starred restaurants, notably in Alsace, Lorraine, Aquitaine, Brittany, Champagne-Ardenne, Franche-Comté, Burgundy and Ile-de-France... The estate also relies on partners such as Millésima to help fine wine lovers and connoisseurs to discover its unique style.