Antoine Foucault established Domaine du Collier in 1999 with his companion, Caroline Boireau. Today, they farm nearly 7 hectares of vines, produce a mere 1,250 cases of wine, and have surpassed rising-star status to join the ranks of top growers in Saumur. Antoine cut his teeth at the famed Clos Rougeard in Saumur-Champigny, working with his father and uncle, Charly and Nady Foucault. At age 26, Antoine set out on his own to create Domaine du Collier. While the reputation of Clos Rougeard was built primarily on age-worthy Cabernet Francs of Musigny-like elegance, the identity of Domaine du Collier is rooted in the grand whites of Chenin Blanc from the limestone-rich hillsides of Brézé. Two-thirds of the estate is planted to Chenin, most of which are old vines—with some pushing 100 years of age. The remaining third is planted to Cabernet Franc, namely in the important lieu-dits of La Ripaille and La Charpentrie.
Antoine works the vineyards organically, shunning the use of chemical fertilizers or weedkillers. The soils are worked to send roots into the chalky tuffeau, and grapes are hand harvested with severe sorting. A natural approach is carried into the cellar, with a commitment to wild-yeast fermentation, extended aging of 24 to 36 months without racking in a very cold underground cellar, and zero sulfur until bottling. The resulting wines, with their power, mineral character, and ethereal lift, have caught the attention and admiration of Chenin cognoscenti. The wines are complex and powerful, without lacking delicacy and precision. Antoine allows terroir to reign supreme, and his cuvées often transcend variety in their deep expression of the limestone of Brézé.