Ogereau, one of our beloved Anjou producer

Date: 22-02-2024


Nestled amidst the picturesque landscapes of Anjou, this family-owned estate boasts a legacy spanning generations, rooted in a profound understanding of the region's terroir and a passion for crafting exceptional wines. Renowned for their meticulous attention to detail and sustainable viticultural practices, Ogereau cultivates predominantly Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc grapes, showcasing the unique characteristics of the Loire Valley's diverse soils and microclimates.


You are the fifth generation of winegrowers. How do you feel about that?

We are indeed a family estate. The estate was created at the end of the 19th century by my great-grandfather after the phylloxera crisis. That gives us a certain humility. We're just one link in the chain. Just imagine, Chenin has been grown on our hillsides for over 1000 years in Anjou! So, one generation isn't much. We're here thanks to previous generations and we're committed to thinking long-term for future generations. That's also a strength. Passing on know-how from generation to generation gives us a detailed knowledge of our terroirs and their potential. This is the strength of the great wine regions of the old world. On the other hand, psychologically we may have a little less freedom than in pioneering vineyards. 


What challenges have you come up against (changing generations, changing consumer habits, etc.)?

The biggest challenge is adapting our viticultural practices to climate change. As winegrowers, we are in daily contact with the climate and we observe nature every day. Climate change is sudden and profound. A terroir is a precarious ecological balance. We have to adapt. There's nothing easy about that. Here in Anjou, spring frost has become our main problem. We also have very dry and very wet alternating seasons. Even 15 years ago, the climate was more temperate, with the famous "mildness of Anjou".


What do you like so much about Chenin?

Chenin is our great historic grape variety. We've been growing it on our hillsides since the 9th century. It was selected in our region, between Anjou and Touraine. So it's an obvious choice. I love it because I grew up with it. It's a fascinating grape variety. It's a chameleon-like grape variety, a transmitter of terroir. It knows how to take a back seat to better express the identity of the place. In the mosaic of Anjou terroirs, it's fascinating to observe the differences in expression it can have. For example, in our vineyard, Bonnes Blanches and Vent de Spilite face each other on either side of the Layon, and yet the expression of the wines is so different. The Bonnes Blanches, made from weathered schist, are richer and denser, textured with fine pastry notes and beautiful bitters on the finish. Vent de Spilite is a wine with enormous energy and a superb, long finish. Chenin also has an incredible ability to produce wines in a variety of styles: great dry wines, superb off-dry wines and, of course, magical sweet and syrupy wines.


How do you choose which grape varieties to grow, except for Chenin?

Chenin is our only white grape variety. For reds, we have a wide variety of grape varieties. Cabernet Franc is emblematic of the Loire Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon is a remarkable grape variety on our schist soils. Grolleau and Pineau d'Aunis are old Anjou grape varieties. They are particularly interesting, as they are well adapted to climate change and produce wines that are fragrant, spicy and light in alcohol and structure. We are replanting them. I also believe in the future of Gamay on schist, particularly when blended with Cabernet. We're particularly proud of our Enjouée red, a wine made by blending all our red grape varieties from Angers. It has a strong identity, with a bright, fresh aroma typical of Anjou reds. The structure is light. This makes it a truly thirst-quenching wine in the noble sense of the word.


Your vineyards are both on the Coteaux du Layon and Savennières. How does this affect your choice of grape varieties, harvest and production?

Our vineyards are located on both sides of the Loire, in the heart of the Coteaux du Layon and in Savennières.

Our historic vineyard, that of my grandfather, is at Saint Lambert du Lattay, in the Layon. Today, we also have vineyards on the hillsides of the right bank of the Layon (Vent de Spilite, La Martinière, Le Clos Roncerie).

On the other side of the Loire, Savennières is a diamond, a micro appellation of 150ha. These are fascinating terroirs. The proximity of the river, the schist soils and the Aeolian sands mean that the Savennières terroirs are generally more precocious. We often start harvesting Chenin in Savennières.


Terroir seems to be very important to you. How do you care for and protect it?

First of all, it's a demanding and carefully thought-out organic viticulture. Today, on the advice of colleagues and friends, we're taking our connection with our terroirs and the living world a step further by introducing biodynamic practices.


How are terroirs and grape varieties evolving in the face of climate change?

From 1980 to 2010, climate change brought a welcome increase in maturity to the Loire.

In recent years, climate change has accelerated here. The climate is becoming much more chaotic and climatic accidents, particularly spring frosts, are on the increase.


How do you choose the names of your bottles?

Most of the names of our wines are either local place names or their translations. For example, Vent de Spilite is a translation of "Pierre Bise". La Saponaire refers to the place name of the village of Savennières. L'Enjouée conveys the popular and joyful character of our fruit wines.

What are your plans for the future?

We're going to continue renewing our vineyard, trying to make it as resilient as possible by planting a variety of genetics from massal selection. As well as Chenin, we're particularly interested in Grolleau and Pineau d'Aunis, not forgetting Cabernet Sauvignon, which works so well on schist.

In the cellar, we're testing a lot of new containers, including tuns, amphorae and concrete eggs to complement the barrels.

What is a must-see in the region?

Our region is first and foremost a river, the Loire. It's a wild river.

In summer, you can cycle along the Loire and enjoy the guinguettes, the restaurants on the banks of the river.

You can also lose yourself a little in the vineyards to enjoy our hillside landscapes. The views from the Savennières hillsides are magnificent.

The city of Angers is superb, with its castle and the tapestry of the Apocalypse.

Loire river


Thank you very much for these very interesting answers!

Check out Ogereau wines on our shop.