Loire Valley, France

Brendan Stater-West is making his mark on the Loire Valley. Originally from Oregon, Brendan set out for Paris almost 15 years ago to teach English—though thanks to a wine-loving coworker, was bit by the wine bug almost instantly. (In the words of Brendan, “Fortunately, it was someone who had a good palate!”) After attending numerous professional tastings, Brendan swapped teaching English for working in a wine store, which serendipitously sold the wines of Domaine Guiberteau.

Curious to learn more about the viticulture and vinification side of things, Brendan set out for the Loire Valley to work alongside the legendary Romain Guiberteau himself, and shortly thereafter, became his right hand man. Brendan was quickly captivated by the unique limestone-based bedrock soils in and around Brézé. A few years later, Romain proposed one hectare of vines from the limestone-based Les Chapaudaises vineyard to Brendan—an offer he certainly couldn’t turn down.

Brendan officially made his first vintage under his own label in 2015, and since then, has been slowly but surely growing his eponymous domaine. All fruit is farmed using lutte raisonnée and/or organic methods. In the cellar, all wines are fermented with native yeasts and aged for 18 months in older oak barrels prior to undergoing a light decanting prior to bottling. Brendan’s signature style is one quite unique for the Loire Valley; his Chenins are laser-focused with loads of ripping acidity, while his reds are equally structured, pure, and light on their feet. Quantities are always small, though we are extremely grateful for what we can get each year!