Domaine de Nerleux
The name of the estate is a testimony of the times when the wolf was an animal roaming our countryside. Nerleux means “Black Wolves” in old French. On the estate of the Domaine de Nerleux, wolves made way a long time ago for the vines and the noise of the clippers replaced the howling. The nobility of the wolves and men alike left a lasting impression on the estate, its terroir and then its wines. The Neau family took over the estate in 1870. Since then, nine generations of winemakers succeeded each other until Amélie, the first woman of this lineage, took over.
Amélie did not wait long before putting her imprint on the Domaine de Nerleux, starting the conversion to organic viticulture. This change was made little by little, starting with the work on the soil. Hectare by hectare, chemical weeding was replaced by mechanical weeding and even manual weeding in some plots.
The land the estate is located on is made of “tuffeau”, a limestone typical of the Saumur-Champigny appellation. This lovely stone gives the wines of the Domaine de Nerleux their typicality. Its porosity allows it to retain water to give it back later to the vines at the moment they need it the most. On the vine stocks, the leaves remain green even during the times of drought, a major asset during this era of global warming. These remarkable characteristics combined with Chenin for the Saumur Blanc and with Cabernet Franc for the Saumur-Champigny give a lot of freshness to the wines of the family estate.