The wines of Muscadet and more!

So, how are you? this is a nice cool sunny Sunday. We had done some cleaning lots of it. All well done. Now we had a good meal with Belgian and American beers and we are wondering, where we were yesterday another world, in wine country of the Loire!

The wines of muscadet are less known me think  unfortunately they deserve more credit. I will do my five cents here. It covers a large area and amazingly, not only are the muscadet grapes allowed but others too.

This area is less than 2 hours drive from my house so I have been a lot ,just hard to pick areas to show you in my belle France we are loaded ::) Here is a bit on the  Muscadet and my latest road warrior trip.

The Muscadet is a dry white wine of AOC (appellation d’Origine Controllée) mainly in the Loire-Atlantique dept 44, south of Nantes, and partially overflowing on the Maine-et-Loire dept 49 and the Vendée dept 85 ,all in Pays de la Loire region. This wine from the Loire Valley vineyards comes from a unique grape variety, the melon of Burgundy (Melon de Bourgogne) . This appellation has been classified AOC since 1936.  The Muscadet vineyards has several appellations: the Muscadet-Sèvre-et-Maine, the Muscadet -côtes-de-Grandlieu, the Muscadet-coteaux-de-la-Loire and the Muscadet without any particular denomination.

A bit of history I like

In the 17C, under pressure from Dutch brokers, looking for small wines for the still wine market .The vineyard will experience a great development: until the French Revolution . Brittany/Bretagne was one of the reputed foreign provinces (with the Guyenne , Saintonge, Languedoc, Provence, Dauphiné, Lyon, Flanders and Artois) so that the trade (taxes on goods) is lifted at its borders, in particular at the Ingrand barrier on the Loire river. Thus, the wines of the wealthy country are mainly converted into spirits, which are exported from the port of Nantes to the countries of northern Europe. Until the French revolution, the majority of the grape varieties of the wealthy country is therefore the Gros Plant, a grape well adapted to this production .

In 1635, the word ,Muscadet is attested in another document from the village of Gorges for the first time. It is claimed that this grape, now known as the Melon of Burgundy because of its origin, would have better resisted the terrible winter of 1709 than the other grape varieties including the Gros Plant and that, as a result, it would then become widespread in the countryside of Nantes

The late 19C saw the affluent vineyard (Muscadet and Gros-Plant) touched by the phylloxera like most of the French vineyards. This aphid accidentally imported from America in 1864 bites the roots of the vine and causes the death of the plant. At this time that the melon of Burgundy (Muscadet) will impose itself as a majority grape in the vineyards of Nantes.  This vineyard in AOC comprises 13 000 hectares, exclusively used in white wine. It is located mainly in the southern part of the Loire-Atlantique, and in some communes of Vendée and Maine-et-Loire. The Muscadet-Sèvre-and-Maine appellation is the most notable and most productive of the Muscadet vineyards, generating just over two-thirds of the total production of Muscadet. It takes its name from the two rivers, the Sèvre Nantes and Maine which water this territory forming essentially the Nantes vineyard.

It is comprise as such with only my favorite towns (highlighted the tops) vineyards (there are a lot more): The Muscadet-Sévre-et-Maine denomination that is.

In the  Loire-Atlantique department 44  are:  Aigrefeuille-sur-Maine, Basse-Goulaine, the Chapelle-Basse-Mer, La Chapelle-Heulin, Chateau-Thébaud, Clisson, Gorges, the L’Haie-Fouassière, Haute-Goulaine, the Landreau, the Loroux-Bottereau, Maisdon-sur-Sèvre, Monnières, Mouzillon, the Pallet, the Regrippière, Saint-Friacre-sur-Maine, Saint-Julien-de-Concelles, Saint-Lumine-de-Clisson, Vallet, and Vertou. As well as two towns in Maine-et-Loire department 49: Saint-Crespin-sur-Monk and Tillières. It is, also, available as the dénomination Clisson  in the towns of the Loire-Atlantique dept 44 in : Aigrefeuille-sur-Maine, Château-Thébaud, Clisson, Gorges, Maisdon- sur-Sèvre, Saint-Lumine-de-Clisson,and one town in Maine-et-Loire dept 49: Saint-Crespin-sur-Moine. Also, as dénomination Gorges  in the Loire-Atlantique dept 44 at   Clisson, Gorges, Monnières, Mouzillon ; and dénomination Le Pallet in two towns of the Loire-Atlantique dept 44 such as La Chapelle-Heulin, and Le Pallet.

The Muscadet-côtes-de-Grandlieu: this vineyard derives its originality from the microclimate of Lake Grandlieu. It is in 17 towns of the Loire-Atlantique dept 44 such as   Bouguenais, La Chevrolière,Legé, La Limouzinière, Pont-Saint-Martin, Port-Saint-Pere, Saint-Aignan-de-Grand-place, Saint-Colomban, Saint-Léger-les-Vignes, Saint-Philbert-de-Grand-Lieu, and Touvois. As well as two towns in the Vendée dept 85 such as Rocheservière ,and Saint-Philbert-de-Bouaine.

The Muscadet-Coteaux-de-la-Loire is in 16 –towns of the Loire-Atlantique dept 44 again my favorites are only in Ancenis, Anetz, lingné, Mauves-sur-Loire, Saint-Sébastien-sur-Loire, Thouaré-sur-Loire and Varades; as well as 8 towns in Maine-et-Loire dept 49 such as my favorites only Bouzillé, Champtoceaux, La Chapelle-Saint-Florent, Liré, Saint-Florent-le-Veil and La Varenne.

The Muscadet without denomination or simply Muscadet on the bottle is in 74 towns of the Loire Atlantique dept 44 ,however, my favorites here are only in Ancenis, Basse-Goulaine, Carquefou, La Chapelle-Heulin, Château-Thebaud, Clisson, Haute-Goulaine, Ligné, Le Loroux-Bottereau, Mauves-sur-Loire, Le Pallet, Saint-Fiacre-sur-Maine, Saint-Aignan-Grandlieu, Saint –Colomban, Saint-Hillaire-de-Clisson, Saint-Léger-les-Vignes, and Saint-Philbert-de-Grand-Lieu. And these towns from Maine-et-Loire dept 49 such as Champtoceaux, La Chapelle-Saint-Florent, Liré, Saint-Florent-le-Veil, and La Varenne. Also, from the Vendée dept 85 we have Saint-Hillaire-de-Loulay.

Some of the other grapes you may find wines here are the Folle Blanche, Cabernet Franc, Gamay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Gris, Grolleau, Negrette. As well as some more genuinely locals such as the Berligou, Egiodola, etc.

Some webpages to help you visit these wonderful denominations and towns are

Assoc Vignobles Nantais wines

Wines of the Loire pdf map see Nantes

I have been coming and going to the Vignobles Marchais lately, this is at La Blandiniére hamlet in the town of Thouare-sur-Loire, and it has been a pleasant find. We first met at the village vignerons of Guérande a couple months back and since been to their property twice.

thouare sur loire

thouare sur loire

This time was to celebrate the harvest for 2018 in which with the heritage days going on in France this weekend, they did a vineyards festival or fête des Vendanges in their property , very nice. We were only a small group of 13 which was ideal. We arrive punctual at 11h while they were getting ready to host a wedding at 15h lol!

Our event started shortly after the owner Philippe Marchais arrived. He is trying to export more and I am helping out with some information on the USA market. First, was a brieg explanation on the terroir, Philippe is a firm believer in this , and so am I. All sort of information on the land and stones on the soil was given in a brief format. The stones here have lots of schist. We went on to the vineyards!

Well it was a harvest time the next day so we were the first one to pick up grapes of the Melon of Burgundy(melon de Bourgogne) great to be able to use our cutter and get the nice chunks of grapes off into a bucket first and then a huge wooden cart!!! Very nice and on a friendly fun group of people. Once we finish , we came in to the chai or cellars to taste the grapes and determine their acidity, taste, and aromas as well as the maturity of them. We try three different plot of land from same grape and all taste and smell different, that is the terroir…

thouare sur loire

thouare sur loire

After, of course, we taste the real wines from the previous year 2017, and were nicely impressed with the Grand Clos du moulin de Pé muscadet of course. And the refreshing Domaine de Bois Biot white. This was accompagny by salmon and sardines cold meat or paté, terrines, and pork paté from Brittany! Very liberal serving and nice conversation around my favorite subject lifewise!

thouare sur loire

thouare sur loire

We were ready for the lunch, a bit late as we were surprise by  a visit by radio chain France Bleu and the owner Philippe was interviewed right in front of us. I was one of the ones chosen to be spoken to and hopefully will be on the air soon!!!  radio chain here: France Bleu Océan

thouare sur loire

All during the interview , we were at the table and then we all join the visitor for a chat on wines and good food of the Loire, and the Nantes vineyards! The food oh my God, well we got a huge chunk of baby milk pork and a large slab of dauphiné potatoes all going down with a nice surprise wine Egiodola red wine a grape originally from the Basque country but now planted here and producing a fruity pleasant red wine with lots of blackberry !! delicious we purchase a carton of  6 bottles! afterward.

Thouare sur loire

thouare sur loire

The ending was an apple tart homemade with grape fermented juice done on premises! Which we got 4 bottles for free!!! We indeed continue chatting with the owner and his wife Violette that joined us at the table sitting next to me so lots of conversation.  At the end we did something nice.

They have a very nice building; the basement is the production site for bottling about 200K bottles of their own production. The street level is the cellar, tastings and boutique, and the first floor (2nd US) is a reception area (where the wedding was held) also good for business meetings and other events, all hook up with video equipment and large screens. The have about 9 persons working mostly family members. What they do is they have other families cousins etc who are also winemakers in other regions of France. They bring their wines to the cellar boutique and sells them ,so therefore we purchase a Morgon from the Beaujolais, and two Margaux from Bordeaux region from 2011 at good prices,not a good vintage year but the producers are guaranteed good and that is the main point here.

Thouare sur loire

Thouare sur loire

In all, it was a wonderful experience. Next month they are hooking up on a project with a local brewery to do a beer with wine grapes that we will be tasting in October !!! Stay tune.

The property webpage in English is here: Vignobles Marchais

Enjoy it nothing better than a good wine and if French much better, simply the best! Remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

Ps wait!!! as we are multi talented, on our way back in full control, we found a memorable hypermarket from our times in the Versailles, The Auchan hypermarket of Saint Sebastian sur Loire was on our way on the N844 so we stopped and did our groceries!!! Cheers ::) Oh webpage of store is here: Auchan at St Sebastian sur Loire

St Sebastian sur Loire

st sebastian sur loire

 

 

 

 

 

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