Guide to the Loire regions

Côte Roannaise

Grower Profiles

Emmanuel Guyot
The Guyots have been tending the vines in Villemontais since 1415, but a long-standing family tradition is no guarantee of quality. Emmanuel Guyot was born in 1976 and joined in father in the cellar in 2000 after studying in Macon and working a stage in Oregon. Unfortunately, his father died prematurely in 2003, leaving the 27 year old alone and with just a few years of practical winemaking experience. He is, however, of independent mind, holding what some might consider as fairly unconventional views, but he believes it is necessary to find his own direction and not automatically work in the same way as his ancestors.

He inherited six hectares of vines from his father and these sit mainly in the commune of Villemontais, although there is one parcel down towards the plain in Lentigy. The majority of the 5.5 hectares of Gamay is Saint Romaine, but there are also a couple of rows of Gamay Teinturier Fréau which date back to another age. His oldest parcels date back to 1919 and 1924, and both are trained to gobelet. The trellised vines were planted in the 1960s with a further parcel being established in 2000. Ever curious, he planted 0.6 hectares of Viognier in 2006 which he will harvest for the first time in 2009. This year he also intends to start converting all his vineyards to organic methods, and everything here is already harvested by hand.

In 2008, Guyot started to increase his production of rosé up to 20% which is produced by direct pressure. Historically, there has only been one cuvee of red wine bottled, but he is now beginning to experiment with ageing some wine in barrel and he has a vision that he wants to produce a range of three reds which express the different characteristics of his sites. He describes his red wine making as semi-carbonic, since he doesn’t destem (he says his stalks are ripe at harvest) and he elects to extract colour and tannin through punch-downs rather than pumping-over. The wines here are fermented and aged in a selection of concrete and fibre glass tanks. He heats the juice at the start, although he dismisses thermovinification, which he says he has tried, but he didn’t like the results. He has also done away with the L2056 cultured yeast strain in his quest to produce more natural wines.

Some accuse Guyot of being an idealist and a dreamer, but my impression is of a quiet, but deep thinking young man who wants to follow his own way. He is certainly a grower worth following for the future.   

Emmanuel Guyot
Les Girauds
T/F: + 33 4 77 63 37 98

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