La Folle Berthe
Four hectares, organic, with use of biodynamic principles
Country, Region, Subregion
David Foubert, formerly a Parisien journalist, moved to Saumur for a life change and to study winemaking. Aymeric Hillaire and Melanie Hunin - Domaine Mélaric – have been a key influence; Melanie was David’s teacher at winemaking school, and David’s first vintage in 2014 was made in their cellar.
David moved into his own - once-abandoned but now lovingly restored - cellar in time for 2015; cut into the chalk, it’s typical of the area. Power was installed 15 days after the 2016 harvest. He now farms a mix of parcels leased from the recently-retired Philippe Gourdon. The vineyards have been farmed biodynamically since 1998 and Philippe can still be found in the vineyard lending a hand.
The local Tuffeau (fossil-rich limestone) characterises the wines as well as the local architecture, vineyards typically being clay topsoil with Tuffeau underneath.
The weather systems coming in off the Atlantic are forced upwards by the Mauges hills to the West of Anjou. This causes a rain shadow which gives Saumur more of a continental climate. Le-Puy – being practically the most southerly point – averages less than 200mm/year. The elongated growing season this allows enables the wines to achieve ripeness.
Folle Berthe is a feminine version of David’s name; Crazy Bear.