Charly Foucault, co-owner of the renowned French winery Clos Rougeard in Saumur, has died.

The death of Charly Foucault was confirmed today (29 December) by his brother, Bernard Foucault, also known as Nady.

Jean-Louis Foucault, known as Charly, was the co-owner with his brother of Clos Rougeard in Saumur, one of the most respected wine estates in the Loire Valley.

The Foucault brothers have been the eighth generation (since 1664) to run Clos Rougeard, with Nady as winemaker and Charly as in charge of the business side.

During the 1970s, the Foucault brothers followed in the steps of our their father and were pioneers of organic viticulture.

‘In the 1960s, when our father saw the arrival of pesticides, he immediately understood the danger it posed to the health and life vitality of the soil,’ Charly had said. ‘In the early 1970s, organic farming was not recognised by vine growers and most of them thought we were crazy. Today it’s the opposite!’

Jim Budd, a Loire specialist, told, ‘Charly was both a great vigneron and a wonderfully warm person. I first met Charly and Nady in 1990 when they were seen as marginal figures. It has been great to see their unyielding passion for the excellence and the quality of their wines recognised for what they are. Charly was great company with a terrific sense of humour.’

Clos Rougeard produces red wines, all made with 100% Cabernet Franc: Saumur-Champigny, Saumur-Champigny Le Bourg, Saumur-Champigny Le Poyeux and Saumur-Champigny Le Clos.

The estate also produces rare white wines, including the Saumur Brézé made from 100% Chenin Blanc.