The winery is run by sons Didier, Luc et Philippe Prieur, Father, Paul, has now retired. A wonderful family Domaine, pioneers of Domaine bottling in Sancerre, their wine has come top in comparative Sancerre tastings in Decanter magazine. It is also has been the pouring Sancerre at Le Gavroche and is served in the Royal Household.
The Prieur Domaine lies over three specific areas that each add something distinctive to the final wine – Caillotte (scent), Terre Blanches in the area known as Mont Dames (structure and vinosity) and Silex (minerality). All vineyards are hand harvested. Unlike many of the producers in the central vineyards of the Loire, the Prieur family only make wine from their own vineyards in Sancerre - they do not buy grapes in and they have not been tempted to make wine from neighbouring villages such as Pouilly and Menetou Salon. This inevitably means production is limited and in short vintages, they do not have enough even for their most loyal customers.
With vineyards on the gentle, rolling slopes around Chavignol, the Prieur family still hand prune and pick when a number of their neighbours are experimenting with mechanised vineyard culture. The persistent delicacy of these Northerly Sauvignon Blancs does not lend them to mechanical harvesting - traditionally, hand picked grapes are picked into small baskets so that their own weight does not start crushing bunches in the vineyard. (This can start pre-fermentation with the wild yeasts that exist on the bloom of the grapes and is highly likely to lead to off flavours)
Gentle, vaslin pressing of grapes, juice is run off skins, must is chilled and allowed to settled before temperature controlled fermentation. All stainless steel handling. All the handling in the winery is about retaining the delicate mineral and floral notes that have been created in the vineyard. The different vineyards are vinified separately and then blended after fermentation.