Sébastien Riffault

Sébastien RiffaultSébastien’s wines would be unique if made anywhere in the world but they certainly are within the world of Sancerre. The big difference between him and the rest of Sancerre is his belief in biodiversity, biodynamics, and natural winemaking. These principles are rare in Sancerre.

To increase biodiversity and encourage good insects, Sébastien has planted an array of plants, flowers and grass. He uses a horse to plow, so the soil is carefully tilled, which increases the amount and variety of life in the soil. A member of both The Association of Vins Naturels and The Renaissance Group of Appellations, he uses absolutely no fertilizers or chemicals and his wines are certified both organic and biodynamic.

Sébastien leaves his grapes on the vine extremely late in order to get them completely ripe and usually affected by botrytis. The wines are fermented in large, old barrels  (except Les Quarterons, which is fermented in stainless steel) and with wild yeast. In spite of the crisp, intense acidity, all of the wines undergo complete malolactic fermentation and are aged on their lees. He never chaptalizes, acidifies, or filters or fines his wines. No SO2 is added (except a minimal amount to Les Quarterons at the time of bottling). Wines are bottled by gravity.