The wines produced by Francis Boulard owe a lot to his grandfather, who would often talk about the importance of the moon on planting and working the soil. Boulard’s three hectare estate is therefore run using age-old methods that are in line with nature and seasonal rhythms. Even batonnage, the stirring of lees which takes place every ten to 12 days in this case, is timed to coincide with lunar “fruit days” and “flower days”.
The vines of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay are pruned short as a means of controlling yield, and massal selection – the grafting of older vines – is used on the majority of the estate. A light cover of weeds helps keep the soil alive and healthy, and most synthetic chemical treatment is avoided. Instead, Boulard uses biodynamic techniques to resist fungal attacks. Aside from a small amount of sulphur and Bordeaux mixture, they are treated with plants like field horsetail, water willow, nettles and silica.
Sugar is also important to the process, with the harvests timed in such a way as to produce it in high concentrations. The grapes are pressed immediately afterwards using a membrane press, which gives precise control over juice extraction. The grapes from the various terroirs, plots and varieties are carefully kept separately from one another, allowing the resulting wines to reach their maximum complexity. The fermentation process is carried out entirely naturally, using only the indigenous yeasts found on the grapes themselves. This fermentation takes place in either wooden vats, half hogsheads or 300 litre oak barrels. This allows for each fermentation to be individually tailored depending on grape variety and plot.
Francis's daughter Delphine is now in charged of the estate as Francis retired in 2018.
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