AT A GLANCE:
Position: No 43
Name of wine estate: Domaine Henri Bourgeois
Wine region: Loire
Standout points: Benchmark Sancerre Sauvignon Blanc; the ultimate Loire gastronomic experience at La Côte des Monts Damnés
Winemaker: Jean-Christophe Bourgeois
Wine style: Primarily Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé Sauvignon Blancs
The Cursed Hills
Henri Bourgeois is a large family-run estate overlooking the small village of Chavignol, just a few kilometres outside the town of Sancerre. This is the very heart of Loire Sauvignon Blanc country, with a perfect view of the prized south-facing Kimmeridgian clay slope of Monts Damnés (the ‘Cursed Hills’) directly opposite the winery – and the ideal place to experience the gastronomic essence of Loire Sauvignon Blanc.
First family of Sancerre
For 10 generations, the Bourgeois family has passed down its knowledge and expertise in creating the finest terroir Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noirs (yes, don’t forget Sancerre Pinot Noir!). These days, ninth generation Jean-Marie Bourgeois and the 10th generation of the family, Arnaud, Lionel and Jean-Christophe, each bring their own personal stamp and expertise to this successful estate.
Take heed, gastronauts…
The Bourgeois family’s interest are not limited to fine Sauvignon Blanc: see the family-owned La Côte des Monts Damnés Hotel-Restaurant in Chavignol, run by Jean-Marc Bourgeois and his wife, Karin. Having worked in such prestigious restaurants as La Côte Saint-Jacques in Burgundy and Taillevent et Apicius in Paris, Jean-Marc has brought refined, white tablecloth dining of the highest order to La Côte des Monts Damnés restaurant (closed on Tuesday and Wednesdays). The adjoining Bistro des Damnés offers simpler local dishes, such as Crottin de Chavignol and other classic French recipes, in a more informal setting.
Dine amid the vines
For visitors with a love of the outdoors, in recent years, the famille has come up with a charming new way to enjoy the gourmet Bourgeois experience: with a walk through the vines followed by a picnic made up of local produce put together by star chef Jean-Marc Bourgeois.