You learn a lot about a man by his compost pile. One of the few producers in the appellation of Saumur-Champigny to farm naturally, Thierry Germain is extremely proud of his, reaching into the heart of his compost to show off the smoking debris to visitors. While others are pumping as much synthetic fertilizer into their vineyard as possible to reach the highest potential yields, Thierry Germain is going the other direction, using his compost only when necessary, and asking the vines to suffer to produce much, much less fruit.
The Terres is 100% Biodynamic Chenin Blanc. This cuvee first appeared in 2013, when it was made from Chenin grown in the vineyards of Nicolas Reau, Michel Chevre and Germain himself. The 2017 comes exclusively from a Germain vineyard; 0.6 hectare of 90-year-old vines rooted in silex soils over limestone. Terres is fermented and macerated with skins in a single 400-litre Italian amphora that Germain buries in his deep cellars for 8 months. The wine is then pressed to an old barrel where it remains on it’s less for 12 months before bottles. No sulphur is used at any time in the crafting of this extraordinary cuvee.