Cabernet Franc

Clos de Barbejo

Philippe Combes, Dominique and Alain Giraud, all wine-makers, founded Clos de Barbejo about 10 years ago.
The estate is located on the terraces,clay and calcareous hillside formation, in the Côtes de Thongues appellation. Here the three friends have planted 15 hectares of vineyards with grape varieties like Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot and Grenache. With very limited yields, these wines are literally exploding with flavor and richness.

 

Pearl-Morissette

Francois Morissette has shown to be a very gifted vigneron. Classically trained he has been working  in the Grand Cru terroirs of Frédéric Mugnier of Chambolle Musigny, Christian Gouges of Domaine Henri Gouges, Jean-Marc of Domaine Roulot and later studied oenology at L’Université de Dijon.

Now Francois is producing wine in the Niagara wine-region of Canada, under the Domain Pearl-Morissette.  

Though classically trained Francis’ approach to winemaking is anything but classic.

Domaine de Mirebeau

In 1998 Bruno Rochard took over the reigns from his parents at Domaine de Mirebeau situated in Anjou close to the city of Rablay sur Layon. Before Bruno took over, the domaine was farming grapes and making wine conventionally so Bruno undertook the task of converting the 6 ha to organic production. The vines consist of 50% Chenin Blanc, 27% Cabernet Franc and 33% Grolleau, the latter of which Rochard champions as a perfect grape for red wine production, particularly with soils of clay and pebbles which keep the vines neither too hot nor too cold.

Toby Bainbridge

Toby Bainbridge has had a pretty adventurous life for a Brit. He used to work the corn harvests on his combine harvester travelling through the USA before finding a wife and relocating to the Loire to be a winemaker. After studying at the agricultural school in Anjou, he met and became friends with Didier Chaffardon who he worked with until moving on to Domaine Rene Mosse for several years. During his time with Mosse, he started to buy up small parcels of vines, starting with the Rouge Aux Lèvres, one here and one there.

Maisons Brûlées

Maison Brûlées 'Burnt Houses' is named so because of a fire that destroyed several houses in the village. It's infamous vineyard and winery has recently passed hands from longtime vigneron Michel Augé to Paul and Corine Gillet who have been making wine there since 2013. Michel was head of one of the first biodynamic coops in France and still hold meetings in Maison Brûlées where members gather to make their biodynamic preparations together (the estate officially certified Biodynamic in 1994).

Domaine de l’Écu

Guy Bossard (AKA The Pope of Muscadet) was one of the earlier adopters of biodynamic agriculture in the Loire. As none of his kids wanted to take over his 23ha when Guy retired, he took the help of Fred Niger Van Herck who has since added several new cuvées to the domaine’s portfolio, including cuvées made from Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Folle Blanche and Chardonnay in addition to the existing Muscadet offerings. The domaine also now produces a ‘method traditionelle’ (La Divina) and a Cabernet Franc aged on amphora (Ange).

Escoda-Sanahuja

Where to start with the legends that is are behind Escoda-Sanahuja? Unapologetically big personalities, unapologetically awesome wines. Vigneron Joan Ramon began making his magical wine in 1997, caring for his vineyard without chemicals from the start. This evolved over time to Biodynamic practices which have been the standard since 2003. In 2007 Joan and Carmen called it off with additional SO2 haven't looked back. The land spreads over 10ha near Montblanc in Catalunya which along with the vines is used for olives, almonds, vegetables and their animals.

Domaine St Nicolas

Once a region covered in vines, Domaine St Nicolas is now one of the few remaining winemakers in the lesser known Region of Brem, situated south of the city of Nantes and nestled under the Fief Vendéens appellation. Vigneron Thierry Michon starting working biodynamically in 1993 and hasn’t looked back. He describes his approach to biodynamics as going far beyond the absence of chemicals in the vineyard, but more creating a deeper connection with the soil leading to an amplified expression of terroir.

Domaine Guiberteau

Once a failed law student, now one of the top quality winemakers in Loire, Romain Guiberteau has definitely earnt his badge. On returning home to Loire after quitting his university studies, he persuaded Clos Rougeard's Dani Foucalt to help him rejuvinate his family's vineyards. In 2007, the domaine gained the AB organic certification for its 12ha. Today Romain's wines are seen as a the very best demonstration of what can be acheived from the hill of Breze.

Château Tour Grise

The family that produce wines under Château Tour Grise have been around a while, allegedly planting and tending vines since the 19th century. In 1998, they achieved biodynamic status which they believed crucial in creating wines that express a true sense of their terroir. Since then they have been renting off bits of vineyard to new, younger generation winemakers in an attempt to keep the blood flowing in Saumur and today make wine from only 8ha which consists of 6ha of Cabernet Franc, 1ha Chenin blanc and 1 ha of Pineau D’Aunis.