In 1978, the Couillaud brothers assumed ownership of Château de la Ragotière, an estate located in the heart of the Muscadet appellation. They were instrumental in developing new grape varietals in this area, and the story of their Chardonnay Bernier starts in 1987. That year, they purchased an estate on a beautiful hillside with a schist terroir. Part of the plot still needed to be planted, and Bernard Couillaud was curious about which varietals would do well in this area, where the two dominant varietals were Melon de Bourgogne and La Folle Blanche. Having spoken with some of his customers and friends on the subject, the Chardonnay variety piqued his interest due to its unexplored potential in a maritime region. He launched the project and immediately set out for Chablis to research and learn more about Chardonnay. Planting started in the spring of 1987 and, over the course of three years, 42-acres were planted on the hillside plot. They decided to plant the vines with a density of 2,600 vines per acre, which would allow them to make the best use of the mica schist terroir. Soon after the project began, Danny Haas of Vineyard Brands became interested in the project and wished to taste the final product. In 1990, after having tasted Bernier Chardonnay amongst several others, he was convinced of its potential and Bernier was introduced to the market.
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