Grolleau

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.

Olivier Cousin

One cannot, or should not, speak of natural wine without mentioning Olivier Cousin. He is a beacon and a pioneer in the natural wine movement which took root and flourished in the Loire Valley in the 1990's, and he has helped many, many newcomers in the region.

Mark Angéli

The man, the myth, the legend, Mark Angéli, used to be a stone mason before herniating a disc on his back which stopped him from continuing his work. One of his final clients paid him in Sauternes which changed the course of his life, inspiring him to seek an education in winemaking and search for vineyards to call his own, finally coming across a plot in Anjou in 1990. Now perhaps the most notorious trailblazers of modern Anjou, Monsieur Angéli has helped many winemakers enter the region, even finding parcels and investment for start-up vignerons.

Cyril le Moing

Cyril is a relative newcomer to Anjou, and he is part of the new-wave Angevin who arrived in the region and were offered support and knowledge from fellow vignerons Mark Angéli and Olivier Cousin. Cyril owns 3 plots across 3Ha in Thouracé, Aubigné and Malignant. Varieties are Grolleau, Gamay and Chenin Blanc which express pure fruit with a firm backbone of acidity. Cyril abandoned SO2 use in 2008 and hasn't looked back ever since.

Château de Passavant

Located in the Southern tip of Anjou in Haut-Layon, Château de Passavant makes 14 different wines from 55ha across 7 appellations. Certified organic since 1998 and biodynamic since 2011, current winemakers Claire and Olivier Lecomte are fourth generation vignerons at the Château, striving to maximise the potential of the incredible range of soils which include schist, sand and gravel, along with different aspects and slopes all playing their part in the formation of the wines.

Bruno Rochard

In 1998 Bruno Rochard took over the reigns from his parents at Domaine de Mirebeau, situated in Anjou close to the town 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.

Le Batossay

Son of natural wine linchpin, Olivier, Baptiste Cousin has taken over the reigns of some of his fathers vineyards, predominantly the Gamay, Grolleau, with a small percentage of Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc. Baptiste is very much his father’s son, carrying on with the same natural traditions such as horse ploughing, biodynamic preparations and no additions of SO2.