LOIRE VALLEY - TOURAINE

LOIRE VALLEY - TOURAINE

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CHATEAU DE QUINCAY

DOMAINE MARIE THIBAULT

DOMAINE DES HUARDS

DOMAINE PATRICE COLIN

DOMAINE CHAMPALOU

DOMAINE PERRAULT-JADAUD

DOMAINE DU MORTIER

 

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The Cadart family has been producing wine at Château de Quincay since 1860. For five generations, the domain has been passed down from father to son.

Located on the southern hillsides of the Cher River near Meusnes, the domain benefits from a continental climate, influenced heavily by the Loire River and the Atlantic Ocean at the western edge of the region.

This family tends to its 25 hectares of vines with the utmost care for the environment at heart. The vineyards are managed using sustainable viticulture and integrated farming methods to ensure respect for the grape and wine.

Classified within the Touraine AOC, the domain is set among the limestone and flinty clay soils endemic to the area, with Touraine recognised for its flintstone—which was once cut to make gunflints during the Napolean years.

Winemaking follows “methodes traditionnelle”, with the grapes cold settled and fermented for 20–25 days, and matured on fine lees for four to six months.


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Located at Azay-le-Rideau in Indre-et-Loire, this young domain is the creation of talented vigneron Marie Thibault.

Thibault studied biology and oenology, before working in South Africa and Switzerland, and then returning to France to work with François Chidaine—one of the pioneers of natural winemaking in the Montlouis-sur-Loire AOC. It was there that she fell in love with Chenin Blanc, having taken charge of the winemaking since 2004.

In 2010, she came across a parcel to call her own, sporting healthy 50-year-old vines. She began converting the 3.5 hectares of vines to organic viticulture, and produced her first certified organic vintage in 2014.

She grows Chenin Blanc, Côt, Gamay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Grolleau—the last of which is very well-suited to the local terroir. The first historical mentions of Grolleau date back to 1810 in Cinq-Mars-la-Pile, which is only five kilometres from Thibault’s estate.

Her hillside vineyard is dense with silex and white clay. Fruit is hand-harvested, with fermentation by indigenous yeasts, and little-to-no sulphur is added.


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DOMAINE DES HUARDS  

BIODYNAMIC

2017 AOC Cheverny Blanc “Pure” (Sauv Blanc, Chardonnay)
2015 AOC Cour-Cheverny Blanc "Romo" (Romorantin)

2017 AOC Cheverny Rose “PRose” (Pinot Noir, Gamay)
2016 AOC Cheverny Rouge "Envol" (Gamay, Pinot Noir, Cab. Franc)

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This biodynamic domain was first established in 1846 by Pierre Gendrier, and has been passed down the lineage from father to son for seven generations.

The history of the estate is very much tied to the rare grape Romorantin. This white wine varietal is a sibling of Chardonnay and was introduced to the region by King Francois in 1519, when he transported 80,000 rootstocks from Burgundy to his mother's château in the town of Romorantin. The variety spread to Cour-Cheverny and when the Cour-Cheverny appellation was founded in 1993, it was restricted to entirely Romorantin grapes.

At Domaine des Huards, Eugène Magloire Gendrier planted the oldest Romorantin vines in 1922. Today the family-run estate is managed following organic and biodynamic practices and has been certified since 1998.

Jocelyne and Michel Gendrier are the domain’s current stewards and are dedicated to fostering a biological equilibrium among the soils and with the surrounding environment. They’ve planted annual and perennial herbs in the vineyards to increase biodiversity, and meld traditional methods and modern equipment to produce fresher style of wines.

Set between the Loire and Sologne regions, the vineyards benefit from a semi-oceanic climate, with deep soils consisting of a chalky limestone and sandy loam, with some parcels topped with calcareous clay.

Each harvest, the Gendriers aim to capture that vintages’ particularities and those of the terroir in the winery. Fermentation is by way of natural yeasts, with a low dose of sulphur as the only input.


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champalou

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Catherine and Didier Champalou are both descendants of vigneron families. But after studying at viticulture school in Saumur, they decided to branch off own their own. That was in 1983, and they’ve since shaped and grown their domaine to become one of the most highly acclaimed in the Vouray appellation.

A respect for their land and nature informs every decision the Champalous make, in both work and in life. Since the beginning they have utilised viticulture methods that promote and preserve a healthy ecosystem, and in 2005 they became certified with Terra Vitis, which is an association of passionate vignerons in France who champion sustainability within their practices. The association’s charter is adapted from region to region, as they understand that wine cannot be cultivated in the same fashion across the many varied terroirs of France.

Champalou Vignerons grow only Chenin Blanc—or ‘Pineau de la Loire’ as it is colloquially known. When rooted within the limestone-heady soils of the Loire Valley, this varietal takes on a complex and elegant expression.

This grape is the mainstay of Vouvray, which is situated in the Touraine region. The climate is warm and continental, with slowly dropping temperatures in autumn making for a long-ripening season. The high humidity also yields the beloved noble rot, which means Didier can encourage his harvest into a botrytis state called moelleux, as well as a pétillant (sparkling), sec (dry and crisp), and demi-sec (off-dry).

The domain’s 21 hectares sit within rich clay, limestone, and siliceous soils. The soil structure benefits from regular aeration from plowing, and cover crops are planted between rows to assist with water absorption and to encourage microbial activity in the soil. All grapes are harvested by hand, and fermented slowly using indigenous yeasts. Malolactic fermentation occurs naturally depending on the vintage.

Didier and Catherine’s daughter, Céline, now assists her father with the winemaking, after completing internships in New Zealand, South Africa, Languedoc, Corsica, and Canada.


domaine perrault jadaud

DOMAINE PERRAULT-JADAUD  

BIODYNAMIC

2014 AOC Vouvray “Traverse” Methode Ancestrale (Chenin Blanc)
2017 AOC Vouvray Sec “Grives Soules” (Chenin Blanc)
2014 AOC Vouvray Sec “La Grande Grive” (Chenin Blanc) - sold out

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domaine du mortier

DOMAINE DU MORTIER  

MINIMAL INTERVENTION

2016 Vin de France "La P’tite Vadrouille” (Merlot, Cab Sauvignon)
2016 AOC Bourgueil "Les Pins" (Cabernet Franc)
2017 AOC St Nicolas Bourgueil "Sables" (Cabernet Franc)
2016 AOC St Nicolas Bourgueil "Les Graviers" (Cabernet Franc)
2016 AOC St Nicolas Bourgueil "Dionysos" (Cabernet Franc)

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In the 1990s, the Boisard family purchased a plot of land with a traditional vigneron’s house and half a hectare of grapes. Brothers Cyril and Fabien were only teenagers at the time, but the former grower taught the boys how to care for the vines and vinify the grapes for the family’s personal consumption.

This experience led Cyril to become enamoured with the vineyard work, and eventually he went to study at the wine school of Montreuil-Bellay, near Saumur. During a traineeship with another winemaker, Cyril was offered a parcel of three hectares of vines, which his father bought to help kickstart the 19-year-old’s budding career. Meanwhile, Fabien had been studying a degree in viticulture and joined the fledgling domain in 1998.

These days, the brothers tend to 15 hectares, with new plantings of Menu Pineau, Chenin Blanc, Grolleau, Sauvignon Blanc, and Cabernet Sauvignon joining their original Cabernet Franc parcels.

The domain is set at the northern end of the Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil AOC, between Angers and Tours. It is Certified Organic Biodynamic by Ecocert and Nature et Progrès—one of the oldest bodies overseeing and certifying organic agriculture in France. When they began cultivating in 1996, Domaine du Mortier was the only organic vineyard in the area. Now the appellation boasts 20% of organically farmed vineyards.

The brothers are passionate about developing and preserving soil health, and actively plant alternate crops within the vineyard to encourage biodiversity and the natural flavours found in the wine.

Since 2003, they have been developing an experimental vineyard in the nearby commune of Brain-sur-Allonnes, where they have planted fruit trees (including 30 apple trees), chestnut, ash and acacia, and other plants.

Sand and gravel is typical of Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil, but some parcels are also rooted in limestone-rich clay. Everything is done by hand in the vineyard, including grassing and ploughing between rows, and the occasional addition of biodynamic compost.

Grapes are hand harvested, and sulphur is used sparingly at the point of bottling only. Whole bunches are fermented at low temperatures in concrete tanks in the old cellar beneath the house.