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  • Jancis Robinson
Written by
  • Jancis Robinson
18 Sep 2008

See related thread in Members' forum

Didier Dagueneau, the wild boy of Pouilly Fumé, has died at a ridiculously early age, but in what was perhaps a predictable way.

Always a fan of derring do, he was killed yesterday in a microlite accident in the Charentes, Cognac country in western France. He was notable for blithely disregarding the practices of his neighbours in the upper Loire valley and writing his own rulebook for growing Sauvignon Blanc vines and turning them into wine. As long ago as the mid 1990s when we filmed our BBC tv series Jancis Robinson's Wine Course, he was already using horses to plough his vineyards – years ahead of the Domaine de la Romanée Conti.

Those who have seen the Sauvignon Blanc episode of our Wine Course may remember Didier experimenting with ancient bits of hardware and treating me to the bloodiest bit of meat I think I have ever been served, with his Pouilly Fumé.

One of his most famous bottlings is called Pur Sang, or pure blood. He was a man of great purity of thought and intention. He will be very much missed.

In our forum, purple pager William Roach of Saratoga Springs has drawn our attention to US wine importer Joe Dressner's memories of him, and a fine photograph of Didier and his dreadlocks and mischievous eyes, at

See related thread in Members' forum