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Domaine Olga Raffault

In the beautiful country of Véron, cradled between the Loire and the Vienne, Domaine Olga Raffault has been transmitting its know-how in the production Chinon wines for five generations. Matriarch of the eponymously named estate, Olga Raffault, devoted her whole life to these landscapes that she loved so much, and it was her passion to share the unfettered fruits of her home through naturally made wines. It is this legacy that is carried on today by her granddaughter, Sylvie, who continues to share her grandmother’s cuvées with engaged oenophiles across the world.

Team Biography

Despite what myth would suggest, Olga didn’t make the wines! This was initially the job of her husband, Pierre Raffault, who never counted his efforts to grow the domaine as a business until 1947, the year of his sudden death, and cruelly in one of the finest vintages of the century.

Olga, then a mother of two young children yet conscious of her duty, managed to complete this exceptional vintage with the help of Ernest Zeinninger, a German prisoner in the service of the estate at the end of the war.

Ernest soon forged a deep friendship with his new "protectors", with whom he also discovered a new vocation: to devote his life to the vine and the wine, and to support Olga and her two children, a promise he had made during the last moments of Pierre’s life.

Today, Olga's granddaughter, Sylvie Raffault, with her husband Eric de la Vigerie and their son Arnaud, intend to maintain the good recipes of the past: a true family heritage, by combining modernity and tradition with efficiency of an operation always attentive to the requirements of a national and international clientele. 

The wines of Domaine Olga Raffault are marked by all these exchanges between generations, giving them a special soul, the fruit of wisdom and passion.


In the vineyard

The Olga Raffault estate covers 24 hectares of vines in the Savigny-en-Véron district, right by the Vienne riverbanks, 23 hectares of which are cultivated for the Chinon Rouges. Cabernet Franc vines with an average age of thirty years are spread over three terroirs producing three types of Chinon Rouge.

The ‘Les Picasses’ vineyard stands out from the rest: old vines of 50+ years on a fairly steep slope from the riverbank that is alluvial clay with a chalk limestone base. The fruit is particularly expressive of cassis and dark cherries with a marked mineral content and taut acidity for structure, lending the wines a high capacity to age.

The ‘Les Barnabés’ vineyard is on the estate’s sandy soils, evoking a great freshness in the fruit with notes of raspberries and violets.

All vineyards are worked organically (certified since 2015) with minimal intervention.


In the cellar

The winemaking is very traditional and ‘hands-off’. The grapes are handpicked and sorted manually before being fermented in stainless-steel. The wines are then aged in larger, neutral oak and sometimes chestnut barrels - a traditional maturation vessel in the region. 

‘Les Picasses’ spends two to three years in oak to reduce the wine and soften the tannins and is usually released about four years after the vintage. It often has a light garnet colour belying the depth of fruit flavour and complexity. Its style is rustic, quite earthy, with hints of orange zest and deep, dark cherry. The tannins are powdery and the mineral complexity in the finish is exemplary. This wine has gained cult status as one of the benchmark expressions of Chinon's terroir.

‘Les Barnabés’ is fermented cool for a red wine and aged in stainless steel for minimum 12 months to preserve its fruit forward style and is the earliest released wine from the domaine.

For both wines only a light-filtration is seen at bottling and minimal suplhur additions are used.

Discover Domaine Olga Raffault Range →



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