Loire, France

At a Glance
  • Renaissance is a collaboration between friends. Brothers Mathieu and Benoit Fleuriet took over the Sancerre vines of their dear friend Stephane Marchand after he was diagnosed with a severe heart condition. They vinify the wines together.
  • Organically and biodynamically farmed (and manually harvested) vineyards consisting of 5 distinct terroirs produce a diverse range of wines that reveal a complex and comprehensive representation of Sancerre soils.
  • Work in the cellar is aimed at preserving freshness and avoiding oxidation in the most natural way possible. The gravity architecture of the cellar as well the process of pressing under nitrogen allow for minimal use of sulfur. The resulting wines are unadulterated, lively and energetic.

Renaissance is a touching tale of collaboration and friendship. Vigneron Stephane Marchand owns vineyards in the Sancerre hamlet of Amigny, a southern neighbor to Chavignol and home to a high concentration of kimmeridgian-based terroirs. Sadly, Stephane was diagnosed with a grave heart condition, which was incompatible with the management of his vines. After 12 months of self-reflection, he confided in his two best friends, Mathieu and Benoit Fleuriet, who farm in both Sancerre and the nearby appellation of Menetou-Salon, about his predicament. The Fleuriet family began as cattle and goat farmers, including the production of the famed Crottin de Chavignol cheese. In 1991, the brothers chose to diversity by planting their first vines, continuing the focus on biodiversity and ecosystem preservation. 

In no time, the decision was made that the Fleuriet brothers would tend to Stephane’s vines and the three friends would vinify together. After two years of relentless work, organic certification was earned, and Stephane shed actual tears at the results. He asked that the winery be called “Renaissance,” as he felt his terroirs had been reborn. Today, the brothers are farming biodynamically with Demeter certification as of the 2023 vintage. 

Renaissance consists of 5 different terroirs: 4.5 hectares of Caillottes, the epitome of the Sancerre appellation with stony, limestone-centric slopes; 1 hectare of clay-limestone vineyards in Menetou-Salon, 0.75 hectare in the flinty and super-steep terroir of Côte de l'Epée; and 3.5 hectares on rocky, sedimentary “marl” soils that produce the textured and ethereal wine known as Les Marnes. This incredible diversity reveals a complex and nearly comprehensive representation of Sancerre soils.

In the cellar, the wines are made as naturally as possible with the goal of purity and terroir transparency. Following a fully manual harvest in small boxes (they are among the last to eschew the use of machines), and meticulous grape sortingon a table de trie, the brothers work to preserve freshness and avoid oxidation. The gravity architecture of the cellar as well the process of pressing under nitrogen allow for minimal use of sulfur, usually none added until bottling. And even there, the goal is 30mg total SO2, actually well within the range of most Natural Wines (but without any oxidation or funkiness!). The resulting wines are pure, lively, mineral-driven, and precise. Our kind of Sancerre!