Vincent is equally cognizant of the energy of his cellar in Chambre, three kilometers from the town of Sancerre, as an element to the wines, and has recently completed a hand-constructed winery from the natural building blocks around him, literally using giant, locally-quarried two-ton stones to build the walls, without the aid of cement. The gorgeous local, hand-hewn wood beams (a work of art themselves) that support the winery roof utilize traditional joinery without the use of nails or fasteners. He built the structure entirely by hand himself over the course of three years, with help from his friend who did the electrical work.
At harvest, whole clusters are hand harvested in small baskets. In the cellar, Vincent remains a traditionalist as he looks for a balance between varietal and terroir. The domain’s impeccable farming is preserved through a slow, intentional process and an élevage that favors patience and transparency. Most fermentations are done in temperature-controlled stainless steel and a few in barrels, all with native yeasts and minimal sulfur. The wines are then aged on lees without bâtonnage and are bottled unfined and unfiltered, according to the lunar calendar. The result is precisely-delineated wines with stony minerality, concentration, texture, weight, complexity, and a lengthy, vibrant finish.
Ever the quintessential craftsman in every level of his work, Vincent is equally dedicated to ensuring the safe voyage of his wines through an investment in the best corks in the market to seal his bottles. Vincent’s corks come from an artisan cork producer on the island of Sardinia. His corks are natural, produced without the use of chemical treatments or glues, and are aged for 13 years, as opposed to corks from Portugal, which are usually aged for seven years. The resulting corks, which are exceptionally dense and strong, are checked by machine and guaranteed against defects like cork taint. Each cork sealing a bottle of Vincent Gaudry Sancerre costs him an average of a euro or more to produce.
Most vignerons would be content with all the accomplishments listed above; however, for Vincent, it’s not about fame or prestige; it’s about going further, pushing the envelope of excellence. Due to his relentless spirit, he has a visionary new project called “La Grande Pièce” in Crézancy-en-Sancerre, just west of Sancerre on a plateau at 300m elevation where the soil has a calcareous clay top layer, with caillottes underneath. Vincent had climate change in mind when he planted in the cooler location at a higher elevation, where the sauvignon grapes are eight days behind on average. In addition, he has planted experimental resistant varieties like sauvignac (sauvignon x riesling) and le floreal, which miraculously do not require treatments, with the idea of going beyond even biodynamics, and experimenting for the future. Vincent thinks this terroir could be one of the most interesting areas for the region’s future.
Most recently, Vincent has been honored to care for the vineyards of another of Sancerre’s greatest defenders. These vineyards once belonged to the legendary Edmond Vatan of Clos La Néore in Chavignol. Vincent is now working with Anne Vatan on the viticulture for her wine, as well as farming ‘Les Coinches,’ a two-hectare parcel on Les Monts Damnés in Chavignol that is bottled by Vincent. His next plan is to renovate his grandfather’s historic cellar, where he will raise all of the new wines. Needless to say that Vincent and Séverine Gaudry are deeply thoughtful and inspiring vignerons who represent our continued exploration and development of the Loire Valley in the future.