Chenin Blanc

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.

Lemaire-Fournier

The now extinct Domaine Lemaire-Fournier used to sit on the outskirts of Vouvray AOC. Our good friend Phillipe Tessier sent us a sample of on of the final wines La Coudraie and we were sold. This is one last chance to try a special wine.

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.

Richard Leroy

In 1996 Richard LeRoy was a Bank Director and head of one of the most established premium wine clubs in Paris. One day, through a visit to Anjou with his son, he fell upon some wines that thrilled him from Coteaux du Layon. he was in love. He made friends with Joel Menard, a local winemaker who was in the process of converting his vineyard to organic who convinced Richard to buy two small and cheap parcels of land from the area. At first Richard would travel down from Paris at weekends and holidays to tend for his vines but eventually gave up the city life and resettled in his new home.

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.

Clos Rougeard

If one talks of Clos Rougeard, it should be automatically clear that here we have a cult producer. The wines of Clos Rougeard are represented in all the 3 Star restaurants in France and beyond. In 1969, the 8th generation took control of the domaine, two brothers with large moustaches, Nady and the late Charly Foucalt. The wine is still made in the way of their ancestors: grapes grown free of chemistry and in old cellars, deep in the limestone. They are one of the only wineries in France that releases their wines as late as they do after bottling.