Château de la Ragotière
Built by the noble Loré de la Ragotiere family in the fourteenth century, Château de la Ragotière was purchased in 1979 by the Couillaud brothers. After acquiring the property, Bernard, François and Michel discovered an old cellar in the chapel housing vintages dating back to 1947. The Couillaud brothers strive to carry on the tradition of making high quality, long-lasting Muscadets. In addition to their Muscadet, the Couillaud brothers produce estate bottled Chardonnay under the Domaine de Bernier and Les Frères Couillaud labels. The wines are from 15 year old vines and 8% of the Bernier Chardonnay is barrel-fermented in French oak. The remainder, like their Muscadet, is aged “sur lie” in tanks, creating Chardonnays with lively acidity. The Sèvre and Maine rivers converge and flow into the Loire river just before it meets the sea at the border of Brittany, creating the richest vineyard land in Muscadet. Ragotière’s holdings consist of 55 hectares including 25 hectars of the finest Muscadet vineyards in the Appellation Muscadet de Sevre et Maine, with the vines averaging over 25 years of age.
Domaine de la Quilla
Gerard and Daniel Vinet run the well-known estate of Quilla in the village of La Haie Fouassiere. A little known fact is that this village is the origin of the famous wines of Muscadet. The village is located within the region known as Sevre et Maine, an area that lies between the two tributaries that flow from the south to the Loire. Of the three zones within the appellation of Muscadet, Sevre et Maine is the best ripening area for the Muscadet grape type (which is also known as Melon de Bourgogne). The Vinet family owns about 60 acres. The vineyards are tended by Daniel and vinification is controlled by Gerard, his younger brother. With the Atlantic influence, the harvest generally begins early September. The yields are not excessive and all the fruit is harvested by hand. The real key to the wines from Domaine de la Quilla is that the Vinet's keep the wines sur lie for eight months before being bottled at the end of May, unlike most in this appellation who bottle in March.
Château de l'Oiselinière
At Oiselinière vines have been grown for centuries--in fact leases written on parchment dated 1337, 1471,1505, 1546 have been preserved. On the parchment dated from 1635 in particular, there is the first mention of Muscadet. It is the first known lease today and is written as follows: “Jean de Goulet de la Fosse de Nantes leases to several private individuals from the Parish of Gorges, a piece of land consisting of 78 plots, known as “Les Grands Gâts” dependent on the land of the Oiselinière in order to plant white Muscadet vines.” The vineyards of Château de l’Oiselinière are grown on the ridges and the plateau which look over the right bank of the Sèvre, facing south-westwards. The property has a total surface of 43 hectares planted with Muscadet vine-plants(still termed Melon de Bourgogne). The average age of the vines is 40 years, with certain plots more than 70 years. These vines yields very mature, concentrated grapes from which are derived the distinctive qualities of the Oiselinière wines.