The estate of Sébastien Riffault was created by his family in 1900 and currently covers 12 hectares in the towns of Sancerre, Verdigny and Sury-en-Vaux. The philosophy of this winemaker is to produce authentic and natural wines that can give Sancerre its most traditional character. Sébastien took over the reins in 2004 and the company was officially certified organic in 2010 and is now certified biodynamic (Demeter). After a first try on some plots converted to organic, Sébastien and his father Étienne were delighted with the result and converted all the vines.
The vineyards are grown on the hills near the Loire, on soils rich in limestone and silica, particularly suited to Sauvignon Blanc. Soils are managed in the most natural way possible, without the use of chemicals and with the help of a horse to avoid compacting the soils and keep them aerated.
Even in the cellar, the interventions are minimal, so the vinification is done in the most natural way possible. The wines are neither fined nor filtered, often turbid. The malolactics are made, the minerality is brilliant. We can not remain indifferent to its wines with aromas sometimes more earthy, that some describe as oxidative. But the fruit and the minerality of the terroir are there, we find the aromatic palette of past Sancerre and not this Sauvignon Blanc with standardized taste today.
The wines have names that are a little confusing. The choice of names is in Lithuanian, mother tongue of his partner. The combination of late harvests, low yields, no addition of sulfur (which discolours the wine), aging in wood for 12 to 24 months, but no maceration, gives Sebastien’s Sancerre its famous characteristics.