Alexandre Bain's passion for working the land was inspired by his grandfather who was a farmer. It was fitting then, when at the age of 18, he decided to go to winemaking school in Beaune to study oenology. After several experiences working in different vineyards, he bought a few hectares of vines in Pouilly-Fumé in the Loire Valley in 2007. When he met his new neighbor, Sebastien Riffault in Sancerre, he discovered they both shared a similar vision of wine. Alexandre and Sebastien each biodynamically tend their land, work with horses (Alexandre’s horse is named Phénomène) and make wines with minimal intervention.
Alexandre chooses to make natural wine because he believes it is the most authentic product of terroir that he can share with consumers. His terroir is not altered by chemicals or sulfites, which obscure all the work he does in the vineyard. He seeks peak ripeness of Sauvignon Blanc by picking their grapes much later than the rest of the producers in the region. The wines are quite different from a classic Pouilly-Fumé style-- richer, more aromatic and dense. This difference is deceiving though because, as Alexandre says, his wines are pure expressions of his terroir and the Sauvignon Blanc variety, nothing added and nothing taken away.
The estate has grown to 11 hectares. Even as his production increases, Alexandre is committed to doing 100% of the vineyard work with Phénomène and is committed to native yeast fermentations and little to no sulfur additions. It is now certified organic and biodynamic by Ecocert and Demeter.
Wine Terroirs: Alexandre Bain (Pouilly-Fumé, Loire)
Decanter: Pouilly-Fumé winemaker to fight INAO over right to use AOC