Domaine de l’Ecu

Loire Valley / France

At A Glance

Winemaker(s)

Fred Niger

Appellation

Muscadet Sèvre et Maine

Varieties

Melon de Bourgogne, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, and more ...

Farming

Biodynamic

Quote

No make-up! Just true wines.

Their Story

“My winery is not a manufactory but a nursery.” — Fred Niger

The story of Domaine de l’Ecu began with Guy Bossard. Guy, a fifth generation Muscadet Sèvre et Maine vigneron, took over his family’s domaine in 1972. Guy is one of the appellation’s earliest pioneers of organic viticulture and adopted the nickname “The Pope of Muscadet” amongst his peers. From the start, Guy was focused on building his domaine’s reputation on the principles of organic viticulture and true respect for nature. The domaine received organic certification in 1975 and became DEMETER certified biodynamic in 1998.

The domaine has continued to progress and is now under the reigns of Fred Niger. Passionate about organic and biodynamic farming and a healthy life in the cellar, Fred lets his wines (his babies) breathe and grow on their own. He plays hymnal music for his wines resting in amphoras and measures the energy they present during their evolution before bottling. Fred has also begun the “Love & Grapes” collection of wines. The very special bottlings are amphora aged wines created with love between friends. Explain as a “result of work in the vines and in the cellar by Fred and his fellow vigneron. A project of love”. This is an exciting time for the domaine and we feel very fortunate to be working with Muscadet’s iconic Domaine de l’Ecu, Fred and his team.

Mid Post Image
The domaine's orthogneiss parcel shines with health in January as temperatures dip below freezing.

Domaine de l’Ecu is made up of 25 hectares over three principle soil types (Granite, Gneiss, Orthogneiss). Recognizing the importance of terroir specific sites, the Muscadets are vinified and bottled based on soil type. The domaine is free of chemicals and all work done in the vineyard is done by hand. Along with the Muscadets, the domaine also produces amphora aged pinot noir, cabernet franc, and a handful of other grape varieties. The philosophy at l’Ecu is simple, “Ploughing the soils, balanced yields, manual grape harvesting and respect of the local ecosystem, natural yeasts, no artificial oenology and no technology in the cellar. No finning, no filtration, no make up”.

Interview with Fred Niger, Owner and Winemaker of Domaine de l'Ecu

Where were you born and raised? I come from Nantes, from a family that didn’t drink wine… My grandparents, my mother, my brother, my sister in law, no one drinks wine… If you could briefly describe your approach in the vineyard what would it be? My winery is not a manufactory but a nursery. What excites you most about your vineyards? The work in the cellar, the vinification and especially in amphoras where I can express my creativity more than the work in the vineyard, but… you can’t have good wine without good grapes, so the work in the vineyard is indispensible If you could say one thing to the sommeliers who are introducing people to your wines for the first time, what would it be? stop drinking labels! a good bottle is an empty bottle no bullshit, no make-up, just true wines.... What is your favorite type of music? Cantates de Bach, opera Faust de Gounod If you could have any superhero power, what would you choose? Candidness/Frankness, that’s a super hero power! Visit Domaine de l’Ecu Website