In 1967, Maurice Filliatreau sold his vineyard of 8 hectares in Chaintres to his son, Paul, who was only 24 years old at the time. It was nothing like the landscape of the vineyard today. It was the post-war period, men and horses needed to be fed, and polyculture reigned. The family did everything possible to dissuade Paul from taking over the vineyard, as it was not an honourable profession. He should have worked in manufacturing or become a physiotherapist !
“When I was getting set up, many people were making white wine and there were only 300 hectares of red wine grapes for Saumur Champigny wine, created 10 years earlier. For me, Cabernet Franc seemed very interesting. It is not an easy-to-work with grape, believe me! It’s hard to find a balance. That’s what’s hard about this, but I like it.”
This self-taught landowner rolled up his sleeves, surrounded himself with precious advice and friends, innovated, and gradually bought land… He had a clear idea in mind: to only make red wine instead of rosé like his father.
“The rosé was disgusting…” laughs Paul.
Through sheer will and conviction, Paul increasingly produced fine wines, light reds with red fruit aromas that became the signature wine of Saumur Champigny, and in particular of the Filliatreau Domain. He brought the entire Saumur Champigny brand with him and participated in the creation of the producers’ collective.
Paul travelled throughout France as an ambassador for the brand so that everyone could appreciate the flavours of his wine, and Saumur Champigny prominently ended up on Parisian restaurant menus.
In 1990, Paul bought a vineyard of 6 hectares at the Grande Vignolle, located in Turquant. Under the brambles and roots of the vineyard: a marvel. The troglodyte site hidden there is exceptional: 150 meters long, on the hillside, stands a stately home, a dovecote, and caves. A new adventure began: the Grande Vignolle became the showcase for Filliatreau wines.
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