The domaine

The History

Winemakers, a Family Story


a Family Story

Our beautiful story began in 1734, a long time ago… Since then, five generations have passed, and the sixth has just embarked on the adventure.

It all started around the Moulin de la Minière in Monnières, where, according to Napoleon III’s cadastral plan in 1857, vineyards were planted. Centuries have passed, our vineyard plots have replaced the wheat of old, and the mill remains an emblem of the well-known domaine for tourists and hikers.

A Transmission

from Mother to Daughter

In the family, the passion for wine has been passed down from generation to generation, and even from mother to daughter, with the domaine’s name following the surname: Marie and Auguste, Marie-Louise and Henri, then Monique and André, our grandparents. The latter, Monique Gaborit and André Ménard, gave life to a single domaine, the Domaine Ménard-Gaborit, located on one of the highest points in the Nantes vineyard, called the Butte de la Minière (at 58 meters), at the confluence of both Sèvre and Maine rivers.

What’s next?

The sons, Philippe and Thierry Ménard, took up the torch, accompanied by Pascale, Philippe’s wife. Then, since 2019, François and his wife Pauline have also joined this lineage of winemakers.

François and Pauline,

a couple of winemakers

Becoming a winemaker: an inevitability? François has always been immersed in this environment, and yet this profession was neither a dream nor a childhood passion in the first place. It was after a course in business school and several experiences abroad (Panama, Ireland) that this profession and the desire to make wine emerged as a calling. He continued with a Master Vintage at ESA (Ecole Supérieure d’Agriculture d’Angers) and undertook several stays in French, Italian, Spanish, and Hungarian vineyards. RiLuce, Masi, and Disznoko deeply influenced him with their ability to reinvent themselves. Missions at Château de Pommard in Burgundy on biodynamic conversion, then in Chablis at Domaine Rapet in Pernand-Vergelesses, and finally in South Africa (Reyneke) refined his techniques and passion before returning to the family domain in April 2019.

Enriching encounters, the discovery of diverse terroirs, vinifications of various grape varieties (Chardonnay, Chenin, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir), experimentations with vineyard management in Organic Agriculture and Biodynamics: all this prepared him to face all the challenges and projects of the Domaine and set the goal of producing iconic Loire wines: Muscadets and parcel wines from Domaine Ménard-Gaborit.

Pauline, his wife, joined the Domaine in June 2021 after several experiences in the agri-food industry, always focused internationally. She now holds a significant place in the domaine. In charge of the commercial strategy (exports, professionals, individuals) and communication, she also works with François on the company’s restructuring strategy and new cuvées, as well as various projects, such as eco-grazing.

“This beautiful heritage is a gift. Together, we want to give a new impetus to the domaine by continuing this family history, combining tradition and modernity. The future is being built, and tomorrow awaits us!”

The domaine

The strength of the team

The strength of Domaine Ménard-Gaborit comes from the vision of François, the versatility of Isabelle, the efficiency of Jimmy, the know-how of Philippe, the tenacity of Maxime, the kindness of Pascale, the creativity of Pauline, the effectiveness of Thierry, the flexibility of Tanguy and the enthusiasm of Emile.



François is the sixth generation of winemakers. He is now the conductor of the family estate, carefully overseeing the vineyard and the cellar activites.


A true multitasker, Isabelle enjoys working both in the vineyard and the cellar. A discreet and courageous woman, incredibly significant in our team!


Jimmy, he loves working in the great outdoors! Having been with us for nearly 30 years, he knows every inch of our plots.


A passionate mechanic, Philippe enjoys perfecting our tools to ease vineyard work. Now retired, he continues to watch over the vineyard with great care.


Maxime, the globe-trotter of the team! Before joining us, Maxime gained experience in Asia. Today, he manages sales in France and internationally.


Pascale, kind-hearted and smiling, enthusiastically welcomes customers and manages a part of the administrative tasks.


If you visit the estate, you're likely to meet Pauline! Her areas of expertise include export, oenotourism and communication. She works with François to chart the estate's course.


Thierry, his domain is the cellar! From preparing orders to delivery, his precision and systematic approach are his greatest assets.


In the adventure since the 1991 vintage, Tanguy, an experienced tractor driver, meticulously cares for the estate's vines.


Emile, the youngest of our team, learns the winemaking profession alongside us every day. And it is with joy that we pass on our knowledge to him, just a few years after our own school days.

We ensure to maintain the delicate balance of a team where everyone brings their talent, skills, and motivation, respecting each other and our philosophy. Our wines reflect this diversity of personalities with different characteristics. It’s a blessing!

The domaine

Grape Varieties & Terroir

The Melon B Revealed...

The Melon B grape variety (or Melon de Bourgogne) is the grape variety of the “Muscadet” appellation, and our main grape variety at the domaine. Muscadet, Muscadet Sèvre et Maine sur Lie, Crus Communaux (Gorges, Le Pallet, Monnières-Saint-Fiacre), and parcel cuvées: this unique grape variety thrives wonderfully in our region with an oceanic climate and is eager to reveal the terroir it grows on, with ageing on the lees.

Our Folle Blanche, Chardonnay, and Gamay grapes, and soon Pinot Noir, are also honored at the domaine.

Sublimated Terroirs...

From the vine to the cellar, there is only one step that we take 365 days a year! Understanding our terroirs and their diversity (plutonic magmatic rocks – gabbros and metamorphic rocks – gneiss, orthogneiss, micaschists) and sublimating them in the cuvées is the meticulous work done by the team. We guide the plant, we listen to it, and play with balances of organic matter, magnesium, nitrogen, and potassium… to help it to the maximum. The entire vineyard is cultivated in Organic Agriculture, allowing our terroir to express itself through parcel cuvées.

One Cuvée, One Identity

In continuation of our work in the vineyard, we vinify our parcels separately so that each cuvée reflects it. The majority of our production is vinified in the traditional glass-lined concrete vat, the typical underground vat of the Nantes vineyard.

An original feature of the domaine is that we vinify in the cellar built by our great-grandfather in 1914, and the vats he dug by hands! These vats in the barrel cellar are “bioclimatic” ahead of their time: they are semi-buried, ideal for thermal inertia. Our wine has been in the same containers for 6 generations, and it is a source of pride for the Domaine Ménard-Gaborit.

We also like to offer our juices a more unusual habitat with oak barrels, ceramic or concrete egg-shaped vats! We age our wines on their fermentation lees, a symbol of Muscadet. We are developing the use of native yeasts for our three communal crus, as well as on our parcel cuvées in the Inspirations range. We also consider the addition of sulfur carefully.

Listening, patience, and rigor are our watchwords. We move at the pace of the vine and the wine.

The goal is simple: to feel the diversity of our terroirs in each of our cuvées, over the vintages.

The domaine

Values and commitments

Respecting our roots

As we recounted in the “history” of the Estate, “Ménard-Gaborit” also represents men and women who have left their mark and identity on over 2 centuries of local history and the evolution of the winemaking profession in the Nantes vineyards. As the 6th generation, we are committed to our family, traditions, territory, and our Muscadet. We now aim to leave our “imprint” on the Ménard-Gaborit Estate.

Our experiences, travels, and convictions have shaped us and opened our minds to the world. We adopt a different perspective on your profession, its joys, its challenges, work methods, the life of a winemaker, the cuvées we love to create, and consumption trends. With humility and exacting standards, we continue the history of the Domaine Ménard-Gaborit.

Respect for life

Deeply committed to respecting the environment and biodiversity, we have chosen to manage the estate using Organic Agriculture, and today, all our vines are certified. Organic Agriculture is demanding; every action, every decision influences the vine and hence the future harvests. “We reason through every action to not follow a systematic logic but rather a logic adapted to the vine’s needs.” As soon as the spring and frost risks have passed, we plow our soils (spring disking, discs, and blades). No chemical products are used in our vineyards.

Our treatments are natural to preserve biodiversity and ensure soil respect. For some years now, we have been using plant decoctions (horsetail, willow…). These preparations strengthen the vine’s immune system. The use of aromatherapy (essential oils) also helps us combat fungal diseases (mildew, powdery mildew). From the vineyard to the cellar, including the manual harvesting of some of our plots, it’s meticulous work brought by the entire team to magnify our Melon B, Chardonnay, Folle Blanche, and Gamay grapes. We aim to go much further in our commitment to respecting life, gradually moving towards biodynamics, launching various projects simultaneously.


We recently introduced eco-grazing in our vineyards. A new project that naturally fits into considering biodiversity. This allows us to facilitate soil work in spring and also provide organic matter, rich in nitrogen, essential for the vine’s proper development.


We implement cover crops (rye, mustard, faba bean, peas…) to let our soils rest, help them regenerate and structure while creating biodiversity and organic matter. Do less but better. That is our motto!

Mutual aid

Support, and exchange are essential values for us. “Why not create an association of young winemakers like in Alsace or Burgundy?” This question was raised by François and other colleagues and led to the initiative of the association of young winemakers from Nantes.

. In the age of social networks and “virtual” relationships, we deeply believe in the power of the “collective” and the bond that unites us to move forward together in a positive energy and to enhance the Muscadet appellation.

We share our experiences, discuss common issues (frost, innovations, group purchases…) and this is beneficial for everyone. We are not competitors; we are colleagues and proud to be so! 

Doing less but better, that’s our motto!