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!”