Founded in 2005 by the talented winemaking duo of Jérémie Huchet and Jérémie Mourat, Les Bêtes Curieuses is a collaboration to explore the distinct terroirs of Muscadet and showcase a more serious and age worthy side of the region. Jérémie Mourat, owner of J. Mourat in the Vendée initially met Jérémie Huchet, whose winery is located in Muscadet, through a shared interest in organic viticulture. Huchet, based in Château Thébaud, was heavily influenced in his approach by Marc Olivier from Domaine Pépière and draws on generations of experience in knowing the best sites of the region.
While Muscadet has long been recognized as one of the world’s great value wines, there is so much more to the region. The crus communaux (communal crus) were initially set up in 2011 and now total 11 in number. These are distinct crus (think cru Beaujolais for a good analog) founded on the basis of their unique soil types whose wines are amongst the very best expressions of Muscadet. Lower yields and longer ageing sur lie (a minimum of 18 months on the lees and 2 years total élevage is required) help to ensure only the very best wines carry the cru names on them. Les Bêtes Curieuses vinifies the crus separately using the same farming and winemaking techniques for each. Only 1% of all Muscadet is cru communal. They focus on old, head-trained vines (most are more than 50 years old), organic farming, and minimal intervention winemaking. After fermentation the wines are aged for long periods of time in underground cement tanks on the lees. By keeping everything the same between crus they are able to clearly demonstrate the differences in terroir between each. Currently they vinify four of the crus: Clisson (granite), Gorges (blue clay/gabbro), Goulaine (schist), and Château-Thébaud (clay gravel on granite).