Domaine les Poëte
The veins of Guillaume Sorbe are surely pumping with winemaking family flow. Even though born and raised in the heart of the Loire valley, coming from flesh and blood of viticulture, being a vigneron’s son, the early years of Sorbe was portrayed with a vague interest in following the heritage of his father. Instead he was having the urge to chase sense of independence and a passion for haute cuisine. Years passed, papa retired and sold the family domaine, keeping some of his old vines. Sorbe was playing at gastronomic grounds as a chef at some of France gourmet establishments. After turning his career as a cuisiner into one as a sommelier the winemaker spirit started to lighten. Signing up for Beaune school of viticulture and oenology his BTS degree was soon racked up.
Guillaume planted and started to raise his first vines in 2001. Together with the remaining land of his father it became the basis for the upcoming estate. In 2007 he returned to the valley to patch together a domaine of his own on the river Cher, a tributary of the Loire. Domaine les Poëte, a name borrowed from his great-grandmother’s maiden name, was founded and the first vintage was made in 2011.
Today Guillaume Sorbe is one of the Loire’s most sought after producers, applying artisanal biodynamic principles and with petite volumes of wines notably requested. The domaine is covering vineyards in Touraine, Pouilly-Fumé, and lesser known Reuilly and Quincy (the AOC not used for the two later). Out of 17 hectares 7 is dedicated to vines scattered over 28 different plots. The remaining, equally important land, is left ‘wild’ being home for sheep (the emblem), horses, chickens, bees and forest.
Vineyard work is done flattering controversial and could be compared with the same kind of mindset of environment friendly cultivation Didier Dagueneau had 30+ years ago. His limited plowing, little intervention and attention to polyculture is to some locals still hard to grasp. Vinification is kept simple. Whole bunch pressing for white, minimal extraction for red, indigenous yeast, fermentation in tank with additional 400 – 600-liter old casks for the top cuvées. The different parcels are vinified separately and assemblage is tailored just before bottling.
Domaine les Poëte must be admired for precision, harmony and substance. Disarming wines of joie the vivre for you to come back to incessantly.