Les Fontenelles is produced by La Cave des Vins de Sancerre, the first and only growers’ cooperative in the appellation. Founded in 1963, it remains relatively small with only 80 growers situated across 12 villages. This reach provides La Cave with access to a wide variety of terroir, from north to south, from clay to limestone, flint or caillottes. This diversity provides the flexibility to produce compelling wines with consistency and quality in every vintage.
Vines are tended without irrigation, so they grow slowly and hardy and resilient. They are also trained low, so the grapes grow no higher than one foot from the stony soils. This allows them to suck up every extra bit of warmth radiating from the stones in this relatively cool growing climate. Grapes are picked when they are fully ripe. Because of the northern setting and cool nights, acidity is maintained even in the ripest vintages. Grapes are pressed gently by pneumatic press. The juice is first kept at a very low temperature for five days to develop flavor and maintain freshness and aromatics. Fermentation is spontaneous through native, ambient yeast, but non-aromatic cultured yeast is added as needed. After fermentation the wine rests on its lees for several months before being filtered and bottled.