The Cistercian monks of the Saint Nicholas’ abbey of Angers built this church in the XII century. When the new Church of Épiré was built (and financed by Elisabeth de Las Cases) in 1884, René Bizard bought the old one in 1898 and turned it into a cellar in 1906.
This is an ideal place for wine making. The very thick walls (almost a meter wide) keep the temperature stable inside. It’s cool during summer and warm during Winter which is perfect for wine producing, aging and preserving.
Besides, the church is half buried. This is quite rare in the region and especially in Savennières considering how hard it is to dig into shale; most cellars are on ground level. A floor was added to the church in order to have the wine press upstairs. During the harvests, grapes are pressed upstairs and the juices flow down into the tanks through pipes only thanks to gravity.
Once the fermentations are finished, the wines are either aged in barrels (oak, chestnut or acacia barrels) in order to bring delicacy or complexity, or in stainless still tanks to keep the fruity aspects of the grape variety.
The aging lasts for 9 months, as the Savennières tradition dictates it : after those 9 months the bottling takes place in June, right before the Summer heats.