Domaine de Montrieux - Ariane Lesne


Ariane Lesne worked in wine retailing in the UK, then as a wine agent before making the move into producing her own wines after falling in love with natural wine over a bottle of Emile Heredia benchmark Pineau d'Aunis Verre Des Poets. Years later Emile put the estate up for sale, and Ariane just had to take the chance.  She spent six months with Emile teaching her the ropes before going it alone. 

In the vineyards the work is exceptional, some of the most beautiful, healthy vineyards I've ever seen. In the cellar vinification is in a similar style to what Emile taught her, reasonably long macerations of 4-6 weeks, sometimes more, but with very little extraction, to get more flavour but less tannins. The wines are elegant, have structure and veer towards the classic style reflecting perhaps her time in wine retail and working at an estate in  Burgundy. 

In the last couple of years after some difficult vintages with grape losses due to frost, she has started a negoce project, Goutte a Goutte. She works with organic fruit from around the Loire and sometimes further afield, Gaillac. These are wines to drink young and offer exceptional value for money. 

Round the corner from Ariane's place her husband Martin has a potting shed, he uses the ashes of Ariane's vines in the glazes of his work.