François Cotat is a child of the vineyard. His father Paul started training him to be a winemaker in 1979, letting him work in the family estate of Chavignol (a small village near Sancerre, in the Loire Valley). François inherited the estate in 1998, but he'd been making wine since 1997. Once in charge, instead of changing anything, he decided to stay true to traditional methods.
In the 4,15 hectares of vineyard he now owns, François Cotat continues to harvest by hand and to limit his use of chemicals. He doesn't filter his wine either, but lets the terroir express itself freely instead. The fermentation process is short, which means his wines will age better when kept in a cellar (his white wines can be stored for 30 years, for example).
Three parcels stick out: the Monts Damnés, the Grande Côte and the Cul de Beaujeu. These terroirs are a part of Sancerre's "great growths". There's also the Caillottes, a cuvée from a more recent and quite rocky parcel, as well as a minuscule patch of Pinot Noir. From this last one, François produces very small quantities of some extremely rare red and rosé wines, like the famous Chavignol (only 2500 bottles per year).