Frédéric Gounan is a singular figure in the Auvergne. On his small estate, L'Arbre Blanc, Gounan is one of the region's vignerons who have forged the way for natural vinifications, elevating the terroir's expression to a new level. Produced in very small quantities, these cuvées have become emblematic of the Auvergne.
After working in various industries - notably as a mechanic and motorcycle designer - Frédéric Gounan turned to viticulture and a return to nature in his native village, Saint-Sandoux, in the Puy-de-Dôme, the "Païs de Doumatz", where he took over an old family vineyard planted with Gamay while training with Emmanuel Giboulot in Burgundy (1999). In 2000, he planted a plot of Pinot noir (1.10 ha on basaltic soil) and then, after having given up his old gamays, planted a vineyard (0.5 ha on clay-limestone soil with basalt pebbles) with half Sauvignon and half Pinot gris in 2010 on a lieu-dit called Les Fesses. These vines are trained "en lyre" with the objective of increasing the leaf surface and thus optimizing photosynthesis and maturity, and the cultural practices are organic and biodynamic to promote soil life. After fermentation, the wine is aged for a long time (about 2 years in barrels, replaced in 2019 by amphorae).