Aussi étrange que cela puisse paraître, les vignobles d’Ampelidae s’étendent sur ces collines poitevines qui connaissent la vigne depuis plus de 1000 ans. Marigny-Brizay compte ainsi 9 châteaux presque tous construits par la fortune viticole, du 11ème, au 19ème siècle, ce qui vaut à cette commune son surnom de Pauillac de la Vienne !
Ampelidae exploite le vignoble de 5 de ces domaines dont 3 en exclusivité. La Mailleterie a vu naître Christian Brochet et 60 ans plus tard Ampelidae, Le Manoir de Lavauguyot, ancré depuis 1085 sur le flanc sud a été le lieu d’éclosion du projet, Le Château des Roches le moteur du développement.
Ampelidae was born in 1995, in the family domaine where Frederic just started a few years before to produce his first wine at the age of 11 with only 2 small tanks, 3 oak barrels and a bucket!
Don’t be fooled by appearances. An intelligent air, a touch of « top of the class », a piercing gaze, an encyclopaedic knowledge and a whiff of academia... Wouldn’t he be better placed onto a university chair ? He flirted for a while with the idea of being in the academic world and came away with degrees, scholarships, doctorates and publications : but this is not where his true heart lies.
Certainly Frédéric Brochet has the qualities of a scientist : observant, curious, an explorer, patient and methodical… but what makes him tick most of all, is a passion that he acquired as a child, a passion for wine. Wasn’t it a bit odd that as a fourteen year he started keeping a cellar book of his family’s homemade wine ? What kind of character dedicates all his weekends and school holidays even as a teenager to tending an acre or so of vines that happen to have been left to the Brochet family ? It surely was an extraordinary passion that led him to set up a wine business at the same time as doing his studies, to start with nothing but 49 ares (and 50 centiares) in a barely known wine producing area… How many cold nights were spent in the troglodytes caves of Marigny-Brizay watching the wines ferment…and days spent testing the patience of bankers !
It was in 1995 during the first year of his PhD in Oenology and Ampelology (« Aspects cognitifs de la dégustation ») that Frédéric Brochet created Domaine Ampelidae (from the Greek Ampelos meaning vine), out of those few vines inherited from his father.
His ambition : to create excellent wine out of a little known terroir : his own.
His secret : the stamina of a marathon runner and the sleeping pattern of a round the world yachtsman !
Today Frédéric Brochet is a winemaker. A smart winemaker. That is possible really ! Frédéric Brochet and wine : like Ying and Yang, Black and Red in roulette, the white and yolk of an egg. You wont get any better. You will find him either deep in the midst of his vines or contemplating his cuves, his centre of gravity is the terroir of Marigny.