Daniel Chotard and his wife, Brigitte, live just outside Sancerre in the village of Reigny. The Chotard family has been making wine for well over two hundred years, though Daniel was initially reluctant to accept the family vocation and started as a teacher. Daniel is a bit of a Renaissance man. His enthusiasm and passion for learning extends beyond wine and into music; he is a gifted guitarist and accordion player. A simple visit to his website illustrates the symmetry between his music and his wines. Sauvignon Blanc is more than a grape varietal; it is a tempo as well. He organizes lively music and wine soirées that showcase wine as an equally compelling art form to jazz. He has also invited Kermit to bring his rootsy band to perform in Sancerre – stay tuned for concert dates!
The terroir of Sancerre is widely regarded as producing one of the greatest expressions of the Sauvignon Blanc grape. Sancerre was once more celebrated for its red wine, a Parisian bistro favorite. The Chotards grow Pinot Noir as well, used to make both red wine and rosé. The hilltop town of Sancerre is surrounded by a commune of villages that collectively make up its eponymous appellation, and each village is blessed with varieties of a distinct limestone that imbues a lengthy mineral component to its wines. Daniel farms the slopes of the village Crezancy-en-Sancerre, where flint meets clay and the famous Kimmeridgian limestone. He practices sustainable farming, and uses organic composts to treat the vines. Typically, he harvests his grapes later than his neighbors which results in less of the acidity that is so typical of the appellation. Aging the wine on its lees further rounds the mid-palate. Like his jazz, Daniel’s wines are luscious and complex with deep notes and long, satisfying finales.