Archive for October 3rd, 2019

October 3, 2019

The wines of Brittany! Bretagne!! Breizh!!!

Ok do you like the title? yes unique and rare! lol! I guess most if not all after reading the title will tell me wines in Brittany??? Well nowdays the region is known for its beers, and ciders, and even whiskies but wine; You ask? Indeed, France has a long history of wine making and taking the best soils and regions to produce it but there are others….And wines is one of my passions… culturally speaking with moderation…

At first sight Brittany (modern era) does not appear as a wine-growing land. Until January 1, 2016, it was even forbidden to produce and sell wine. Yet some enthusiasts managed to cultivate vineyards thanks to a tolerance, allowing to grow a maximum of 200 feet per plot. Thus we find vines still maintained in Saint-Suliac (35), Quimper (29) and Uzel (22) with a production mainly of white wine.

Some sources speak of the first wines appeared in Brittany in the 3C with the arrival of the Romans, then the vine grows with the Christianization. But wine production fades from the 10C with the competition of wines from elsewhere, cheaper and often better. The weather, the nature of agricultural land that is not conducive to this culture and political decisions ordering the uprooting of the soil will eventually end the exploitation of the vines. In the 18C, there are still some plantations around abbeys and ria, where there is a micro-climate. The writings attest to the presence of vines in the Val du Rance (Dinan, Dol, Plouër, Saint-Sulliac etc.), in the Morbihan ,Rhuys peninsula, and around Redon.  The Topology shows track of this viticulture, especially in Val de Rance. However, the cultivation of the vine has never completely disappeared. The monasteries especially indulged in this culture, some traces of which have even been preserved to this day. Thus, in 1848, the official statistical documents still counted 800 hectares of vines registered in this former province!

From the beginning of the 20C, the interest for the vine in Brittany is reborn, and at the beginning of the 21C, a renewal of wine-making activities in Brittany.  In 1996, an old vine, the black Magdalene des Charentes, parent of Merlot, was discovered in Saint-Sulliac. The law of last January 2016 opens new horizons by replacing planting rights with more flexible planting authorizations. Several projects are underway on the islands of Groix, Arz and Illur ( Morbihan dept 56). In the communal or associative vineyards the most commonly planted varieties are pinot noir, chardonnay, pinot blanc, chenin blanc. The vineyards of Brittany are an old vineyard, almost entirely disappeared between the 16C and 20C in four of the five historic departments of Brittany  (thus outside the Loire-Atlantique dept 44 where is produced among others the Muscadet of the Pays Nantais.

Sarzeau, a small town on the Rhuys peninsula in the Morbihan, has made available to a happy elected a dozen hectares of land formerly planted of vines. Indeed, the name “product in Brittany” and the Gwenn Ha Du (Breton flag) are selling a lot. Some communes had already tried to reconnect with their wine history, like Quimper.  In 2009, winemakers  planted Chardonnay and Pinot vines. For example you will find in Ille-et-Vilaine dept 35: the Haut-Quineleu of Sainte-Thérèse district in Rennes since 1992; in the town of Saint-Suliac: Le Clos de Garo (white chenin blanc and red rondo) planted since 2013, whose first harvest took place on September 23, 2017; Mont-Dol  ,(Renac local grape variety and Chardonnay).  In Finistère dept 29: Coteau-du-Braden in Quimper since 2006, Quillien (Argol), Treffiagat, Morlaix. In the Côtes d’Armor dept 22: The Quillio (variety Foch and Le Plantet) .In the Morbihan dep 56: small vineyards in Bohal (varietal verdot), Cléguérec projects in Belle-Île-en-Mer, Groix, islands and the peninsula of Rhuys.

Of course, historically, Loire-Atlantique dept 44 (now part of the region of Pays de la Loire) was also an integral part of Brittany, so the Pays du Vignoble  Nantais, where Muscadet and Gros-Plant are produced. The vineyard of Nantes, treated on the vineyard page of the Loire Valley, is the only one in the historic Breton country to count today professional winegrowers (about 800), and to enhance its wines by official labels quality (AOC, IGP). The Les Vignerons-Artisans de Bretagne ,and the Comité des Vins Bretons  (winemakers from Nantes) are asking for the creation of a label “Vin Breton” which would allow them to market under this brand.”Breton wines”

The group Les Vignerons-Artisans de Bretagne webpage here: http://www.vignerons-artisans-de-bretagne.bzh/en/le-vin-et-la-bretagne.php

And the Comité des Vins Breton webpage here : https://www.comitedesvinsbretons.org/adherents.php

From this one of my house staples is the Domaine Poiron-Dabin, which I have written before in the Loire wines post in my blog. Lovely wine and great folks. For reference their webpage is here:  www.poiron-dabin.com

Chateau thebaud

Pinot Noir in the Nantais! Poiron Dabin

Some local efforts on wine making already !

Will Brittany one day produce wines of high quality? From the point of view of climate and soil, nothing prevents it, say scientists from Universities of Rennes 2 and Angers who have placed the region under their magnifying glass. In the lot, geographers-climatologists and students from the University of Rennes 2, supported by specialists from the School of Agriculture (ESA) of Angers. They have equipped a handful of plots with weather stations, at the request of individuals, associations, local communities, farmers in the process of diversification in Saint-Suliac, Saint-Jouan-des-Guérets, at Mont-Dol (Ille-et-Vilaine), at Muzillac (Morbihan), soon at Paimpol (Côtes-d’Armor). To measure temperature, rainfall, wind, humidity, sunshine

Depending on the orientation of the slopes, they can even recommend moderately late varieties such as chenin blanc and cabernet franc. Brittany, however, offers a climate more conducive to white wines than red: . Other climatic assets for Brittany: the number of days of frost, devastating for the vine, is very low. And temperatures are not too extreme: even for a Mediterranean type of culture such as vine, a mercury at 45 ° C recorded this summer in the south, is a source of high heat stress. The Breton rain, on the other hand, is as much an asset as a weakness. An asset, when it allows to put an end to a period of too great drought and water stress; a weakness when it falls at key moments such as bloom and harvest. Another negative effect of the rains is a greater risk of diseases, such as late blight or gray mold

On the heights of Quimper, Coteau du Braden is both a reference and a pioneer figure for the younger generations. This 2,500 square meter plot, planted with half chardonnay and half pinot gris, can also boast an exceptional 2018 vintage. By planting 5,000 m2 of treixadura, a Galician grape known to be resistant, in Treffiagat, in the Bigouden country, as climate change has been a determining factor similar to Galicia Spain. At Groix island, off the coast of Lorient, on the isle of Locmaria, where was just planted a hectare of chenin blanc facing south to the ocean, the farm covering half a dozen hectares, half of which should eventually be devoted to the vineyard. With a shallow soil and shaly soil with golden reflections , Groix island, which does not know the frost, could be an ideal haven for such an enterprise. Further in Saint-Jouan-des-Guérets, near Saint-Malo,  two hectares are particularly suitable for viticulture. Not quite a surprise if one refers to the registration of the plot in the cadastre under the name Long Vines, suggesting ancestral practice. Planted in May early varieties such as Grolleau, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay at first, an organic sparkling wine upscale style, without prohibiting more or less long term the big jump to a red wine later on.

A bit of history I like that goes with the wines very well indeed ! My adopted Bretagne/Brittany as locals says Breizh!

It was in the 9C that Brittany became as known today. Thanks to the victory, during the battle of Ballon in 850, won over the Franks, by the Breton king Nominoë. But it is precisely in  August, 851, that the birth of the present limits of Brittany can be attributed. It is the son of Nominoë, Erispoë  who won the battle of Jengland  against Charles the Bald in 875. The latter was the grandson of Charlemagne and future emperor of the Carolingian Empire. This victory definitely seals the borders of Brittany by integrating the counties of Nantes and Rennes.(All of Brittany today in addition to dept 44 Loire Atlantique).

Few countries in Europe can claim such stability in their territory. The positioning in the far west of the European continent, a peninsula bordered largely by the coastline, partly explains this geopolitical stability. It was then the 1st Duke of Brittany Alain Barbe Torte who, after driving out the Vikings, made Nantes the capital of Brittany in 925.(and why you have in Nantes the castle of the dukes of Brittany!!!).

The Breton wines (meaning Nantais)  are already at the time export wines. They will remain so until today with good times and dark periods. Depending on the political and military contexts of the times. The Breton vineyards of southern Brittany (Loire Atlantique dept 44), which Cabernets and Pinot Noir. But,also Grolleau, Gamay and Malvoisie. This Breton vineyard, the largest European vineyard of dry white wine also produces red wines and rosés, to discover and taste. But the best known are Muscadet and Gros Plant. However, I have already a post on the Nantais wine and some communities such as Clisson so will stop here for that.

A fascinating story to be continue as the Breton search to find their wine making roots again in the upper part of Brittany... north of Nantes… Hope you enjoy the story and maybe one day grab a bottle whether in Brittany or the Loire-Atlantique::) In Vino Veritas!!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

 

 

October 3, 2019

My wine world: France!

So here I am again back to a regular hobby of mine for my entire life. True do not write too much on it,but there are several posts about wine in my blog and from different regions of our world. Today is cloudy temps in 16C or about 63F in my neck of the woods, while in our eternal Paris is 55F or maybe 13C and sunny oh well. This is always important as the weather plays a crucial role in how well the wines will be made.

Now lets get to the meat of the matter and tell you about the latest news in the wines of France especially the less famous crus bourgeois of the Médoc!

From one vintage to another  to be or not to be considered Cru Bourgeois. The handicap is more or less important according to the notoriety of the property. It’s a bit complicated to understand.  A  Cru Bourgeois can be a year and not be the next one, to appear or not in the official selection for a given vintage, the following or the preceding one. Either because it chose not to compete at all and did not submit samples in year N, but may review its choice the following year; either because the samples presented did not convince the jury on this vintage; either because it has unfortunately not disposed of the volume required to compete (harvest amputated by frost or hail …). Life is never so simple even in the wine business!

Thus, for example , Gressier Grand Poujeaux is not part of the official selection 2019: its 2017 vintage was devastated by frost, the château did not compete;  for the 2018 vintage, the fault of late blight. Nevertheless, their 2015 and 2016 vintages have earned the Cru Bourgeois label and are currently on the market. The rule will therefore change with the next classification since the label will be issued for 5 years. To be or not to be considered  Cru Bourgeois from one vintage to the next, the handicap is more or less important according to the notoriety of the château. Gressier Grand Poujeaux, draws its pin of the game by playing thoroughly the card of Chasse-Spleen. Historically, both properties come from the same domaine, Gressier. In the 19C and according to the legacy, part became Gressier Grand Poujeaux, the other Chasse-Spleen. Céline Villars-Foubet inherited Chasse-Spleen but it is she who recreated the old estate Gressier in its entirety by buying in 2003  Gressier Grand Poujeaux, a jewel of 25 hectares.

Initially, she thought to enlarge Chasse-Spleen with Gressier Grand Poujeaux. But everything tasted in the old vintages of this wine was excellent. Gressier Grand Poujeaux being the oldest brand of the Moulis appellation, was decided to keep it. In 2003, Chasse-Spleen was distinguished “cru bourgeois exceptionnel” and Gressier Grand Poujeaux “cru bourgeois superiéur”. The classification was split in 2007. Result, Chasse-Spleen has slammed the door of the crus bourgeois, Gressier Grand Poujeaux remained … but not for all vintages. Now presented as the wine produced by Chasse-Spleen,  the cuvée  sold directly by the property and online via the market place, it does not really need the umbrella “cru bourgeois”.

From Saint-Estèphe to Margaux, an oenological stroll through some of the finest Bordeaux vineyards labeled Crus Bourgeois. These are just some of my favorites ok.

CHÂTEAU LE CROCK (Saint-Estèphe): This is the other nugget of the Cuvelier family, owner of the grand cru classé Léoville Poyferré and Moulin Riche (AOC Saint-Julien). Crock joined the family of Crus Bourgeois in 1932. In 1855, it had missed the classification because George Merman, the owner at the time, had not, as a member of the selection committee, presented his wine, while critics gave him every chance to access it. The connoisseurs have never lost sight of this vintage though. Didier Cuvelier, after forty years of good and loyal services, has retired (between consulting and promotional trips), Olivier is at the head of the trading division of the family and chairs the Alliance des Crus Bourgeois. The soil of Garonne gravel and surface sand, clay in the subsoil, is planted in Cabernet Sauvignon and cabernet Franc, with a third of Merlot and 5% of Petit Verdot. The property has made the choice of reasoned culture. The 18-month aging benefits from 30% new French oak barrels.

CHÄTEAU LILIAN LADOUYS (Saint-Estèphe) Lilian Ladouys was the first acquisition of Jacky and Françoise Lorenzetti, in 2008. The goal has been to place the wine among the best of its appellation and the Alliance of Cru Bourgeois. The vineyard has been regrouped, refocused on the good terroirs of the heart of the appellation, in gravel (80% of the area now) and sandy-clay colluviums. Of the 75 hectares in production, it  tend towards a grape variety of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon , merlots (45% of all, grown on clay-limestone soils), 4% Cabernet Franc and 4% of Petit Verdot. In 2009, the first Lorenzetti vintage was rated by The Wine Spectator magazine as one of the top four Saint-Estèphe, alongside three classified growths, Cos d’Estournel, Calon-Ségur and Montrose. The 2011 vintage ranked in the top 100 of the magazine, the Coupe des Crus Bourgeois for 2012.

CHÂTEAU PALOUMEY: (Haut-Médoc) “Paloumey “ is the place where the pigeons go. It is restructure vineyards of 35 ha of cabernet sauvignon (55%) and merlot (45%).The 2018 vintage three Stockinger barrels (medium heat) of Tronçay oak, one of 500 liters, two in 228 liters of which one was made according to the principles of biodynamics, with an expected effect on the aromatic expression. They had the energy needed to tackle several projects at the same time, like taking care of La Garricq, 3 hectares of AOC Moulis (ex-cru bourgeois), La Bessane, 3 hectares in Margaux, while developing wine tourism in Paloumey , with multiple visits, educational workshops and a shop that achieves nearly 20% of sales.

CHÄTEAU DE TAILLAN (Haut-Médoc). They mark the border between Médoc and Graves where the property was located when the ancestor Henri Cruse (Amélie Cruse current owner) acquired it, in 1896. The wines represent today 60% turnover, wine tourism and property sales, 40%. The property comprises 32 hectares, 30 hectares in AOC Haut-Médoc red (70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Cabernet Franc) and, unusually, 2 hectares in Bordeaux whites (Château La Dame Blanche, 100 % Sauvignon Blanc). The vaulted cellars of the 16C are unique in the Médoc, tasting and thematic visits, and open its park with century-old trees for walks and picnics. One twenty thousand bottles of this soft, greedy, suave cru bourgeois vintage and on the fruit, aged 12 months in barrels (20% new, 50% of older wine) are produced each year and sold half for export (and on the very chic Singapore Airlines) With his daughter Margot Falcy, designer, she opened a mini-concept store in the shop, where you can find Margot’s jewels and a line of objects with Taillan and La Dame Blanche logos.The black cocker and mascot of the castle is at the top of the list. In 2005, Armelle was the founder of the Médocaines association, bringing together Paloumey, Loudenne and La Tour de Bessan, to boost wine tourism, and there are still some joint visits with Paloumey, a property in contrast. with the Taillan.

CHÂTEAU BEL AIR GLORIA: (Haut-Médoc) .Of all the properties of the domains Henri-Martin, it is the only one that is not in AOC Saint-Julien and it is without doubt the least known. But like Château Saint-Pierre (4th Grand Cru Classé in 1855), Château Gloria (created piece by piece by the founder Henri Martin between the 1930s and 1970s), Château Peymartin, his second wine, and finally Château Haut- Beychevelle Gloria (the historical heritage of the family), Bel Air Gloria enjoys the same care, the same technical facilities, the same consultant , Éric Boissenot. Formerly called Bel Air, it had developed and attached clearly to their properties by adding, since the 2014 vintage, the famous “Gloria”. The vineyard today extends over 34 hectares very qualitative, divided into three blocks: on the banks of the river on clayey gravels, conducive to merlot; around the village, on sandy gravels, favorable to Cabernet Sauvignon (75% majority); on the plateau at the border of Saint-Julien, the best part, on sandy clay and limestone. As in Saint-Julien, the vineyards of Bel Air Gloria are worked in organic and bio-control. The château is considered cru bourgeois since 2003, the property has been nominated for the additional mention” cru bourgeois supérieur “.even aspire to the exceptionnel label as for the wine itself, but some criteria, concerning the history or the architectural heritage of the property (Bel Air Gloria is a castle without castle), did not allow it. The cru bourgeois vintage is distributed exclusively  in supermarkets, but obviously better valued for export according to the attractiveness of the vintage. This is a Médoc wine, therefore with a potential for aging, but, aged one year in 25% new barrels to preserve the fruit with a discreet woody, it is also accessible young.

CHÂTEAU LAMOTHE-BERGERON (Haut-Médoc): The vineyard of 67 hectares of beautiful Garonne gravel that look at the river, as they say in the Médoc of the best terroirs, and the technical facilities are in good condition. The vines (52% merlot, 44% cabernet sauvignon,  2% petit verdot, 2% cabernet franc), while crunching the berries of the different grape varieties. The property (cru bourgeois superieur in 2003) has been nominated for the distinction cru bourgeois exceptionnel, which would crown ten years of work. The wine is marketed at 60% in France (wine shops and wine fairs), the rest for export in 60 countries. Cherry on the cork, the premium Nove, less than 6,000 bottles, combines Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot with three dedicated plots and offers a more fleshy wine.

CHÂTEAU MALESCASSE (Haut-Médoc).  They are nominated for the “cru bourgeois exceptionnel” mention for the next ranking of the Crus Bourgeois, in 2020. The priority was to restructure the vineyard of 40 hectares in one piece, planted on a poor sandy stony soil on a limestone substrate. In seven years, it has been almost entirely restructured for the benefit of Cabernet Sauvignon (49%), with a majority of Merlot (45%) and Petit Verdot (6%). Remain 2 hectares to complete in two years the replanting program, mainly in Cabernet Sauvignon. Merlots were replanted in the lower parts of the estate, cabernet sauvignons moved to the top of the gravelly crest, the density increased to 10,000 feet per hectare. On 32 hectares in production, 31 hectares are planted between the rows of cereals and 9 hectares of grass, so as to decomposet the soil and bring them back to life while controlling the vigor of the vine. 8 hectares are in organic trials. The cellar is painted in black, velvety setting for the 400 oak barrels, and a sculpture of Bernar Venet sits in front of the château. The malolactic fermentations take place in 30% of new wood, the wines are aged 14 months in oak barrels (35% new). Most of the bourgeois crop (45% of the production, the rest in the Moulin Rose Malescasse goes to export. From the oldest vines, it has gained in power of expression and, since the vintage 2015, it is proposed en primeur. Finally, the chartreuse 18C, became a château d’hôtes or guest castle house, punctuated with works of art and objects design, which is rented in full and offers two suites and two rooms. Lunches, dinners and tastings are ordered à la carte.

CHÂTEAU FOURCAS-BORIE (listrac-médoc) . A mansion ennobled by a cedar and a majestic chestnut tree, nothing to do however with the architectural splendor pure 18C on the edge of the Garonne river and Château Ducru Beaucaillou, the classified gem of Saint-Julien, flagship of Bruno Borie. Here, you are a hundred meters from the church of the modest town of Listrac. Bruno Borie is viscerally attached to this appellation of Listrac-Médoc, where he also owns Château Ducluzeau, who is in his mother’s family since the 18C. Bruno Borie acquired in 2009 Fourcas-Dumont, which he renamed to his name and revival: clay-limestone soils in majority, and serious in the east and the south, planted with 70% of merlot, 20% of cabernet franc, 10% of petit verdot, in reasoned culture, for the terroir, they are aged 12 months in 20% new oak and 80% of older  wine barrel in French oak, the wood is very discreet. The 4 000 boxes a year are mainly exported to the United States and Asia, the candidate for the “cru bourgeois exceptionnel” mention in the next classification of 2020.The very original label of the wine, dark red and lace of vine leaves, seems to be designated for.

CHÄTEAU HAUT BRETON LARIGAUDIÈRE (Margaux) . The new installations of Haut Breton Larigaudière, under construction, will make as much talk as in its time the futuristic winery of La Croizille, another family property in Saint-Émilion. The De Schepper family is actually five castles right and left bank. These Belgian merchants from Ghent, originally manufacturers of gengiévre and liqueurs, began production in 1950 with the acquisition of Tour Baladoz in Saint-Emilion. Then, in 1964, Haut Breton Larigaudière, the cru bourgeois in AOC Margaux; in 1994, Château Tayet (formerly Les Charmilles) in AOC Bordeaux; in 1996, La Croizille, a Saint-Emilion Grand Cru next to Tour Baladoz; and finally, in 2004, Lacombe Cadiot in AOC Bordeaux. Today, this property constitute of 15 hectares, divided into twenty plots with very different soils, deep and sandy on Arsac (3.5 hectares), and serious clay on Soussans (11.5 hectares). Cabernet Sauvignon accounts for 70 per cent of the total, followed by Merlot (25 per cent) and Petit Verdot (5 per cent), planted at 10,000 pied per hectare. It took twenty years of effort to ensure that the vineyard, in sustainable agriculture, certified ISO 14001 and HVE3, gives its best. After pre-fermentation cold maceration, 15 to 30 days in vats, concrete and stainless steel, parcel vinification, limiting pumping and racking, the great wine is aged in barrels for 15 to 20 months in French oak barrels, of which 50 to 100% new barrels. The trading activities of the De Schepper family, 70% for export, 30% in France excluding large retailers.

And voilà found me a label to put up here for the record ok; CHÄTEAU HAUT BRETON LARIGAUDIÈRE !

bordeaux

And something I wrote some before in my previous post Some News from France CCXLVI.

The official selection 2019 has just dedicated 226 châteaux on the 2017 vintage. Two hundred and twenty-six castles in seven Médoc appellations (Médoc, Haut-Médoc, Listrac-Médoc, Moulis, Margaux, Pauillac, Saint-Estèphe). A significant decrease compared to last year’s selection. It can be explained by the fact that the frost has strongly impacted the harvests, some châteaux have not even harvested anything or too little to present themselves to the selection. Almost 79% belong to the first two and less than 14% to the three most prestigious.

Until this selection in 2019, for those who remained in the Alliance des Crus Bourgeois Médoc and for the merchants, the process was to validate annually the quality of a wine on a vintage for a given volume guaranteed to the consumer. Each chateaux and each stage of the labeling is controlled by the Alliance and an independent verification body. The procedure, rigorous, ended up being criticized. Another reason for discomfort: the annual review, the same chateaux can be believed cru bourgeois on such a vintage, but not to be the next year. Not conceivable for the consumer and too difficult to sell for traders … Markets do not like uncertainty. The Alliance des Crus Bourgeois, chaired by Olivier Cuvelier, has therefore prepared for its revolution.

And yes France is moving ahead into the modern world of winemaking at last. After been so far ahead and bringing their grapes , production, know how to all over the world; it is time they modernized in house too to keep up with the changing markets. There will be pleny of French wine around for everybody! Enjoy it!!! In vino veritas!!!

And if you missed the last wine post here is the official site of the Cru Bourgeois du Médoc with annual selections: Official Cru Bourgeois Médoc in French

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

October 3, 2019

Clisson and its Muscadet!

So here I am back in my regular good old belle France. And as Autumn has arrive and the days are beginning to be shorter , we can enjoy a nice glass of white wine n’est pas? ok so let me tell you something about an area I came to know once moved to lovely Bretagne and I/we are hook on it. The white wines of the Muscadet and especially those in or from the town of Clisson! 

I have written before on the wines of the Loire as wines are my other love. Several posts on wine already. However, let me pinpoint more closer the areas I was talking about as in this case Clisson. The town is very close to the big city of Nantes and is part as well of our backyard for trips lately covering just a day or a weekend away from home. We have even spent a night sleeping in a wine barrel in the middle of muscadet vineyards!

Clisson is in the Loire-Atlantique dept 44 of the region of Pays de la Loire. However, don’t dwell too much on it as that was just administravely done, the real love here still is as in the old monarchy times as Bretagne or Brittany. The area used to belong to Bretagne and still shows! It is actually the Breton wine region!!!

We first got deeply into the wines here when we saw a wine fair in a small property that we like best and decided to come just for the trip, we took a look of the muscadet wines famous in the vineyards Nantaise or Nantes.  This was at the Domaine du Grand Air where there was wine tastings and foodies from the region including the great goat cheese of the Loire. The folks were so nice down to earth wine lovers farmers that we purchase several bottles to take home with us. Eventually we have purchase a lot more as they have their parents living in Guérande and we have friends there so we order and pick up the wine in their parents’ house! great !!! The group here started with five winemakers who decided to share their enthusiasm for the wines of the region and do events of wine tastings coupled with local products. So they hold on some weekend  the  Soif des vins et de Savoirs or thirst of wines and knowledge.  The location of the domaine is at Bourginal a borough of Clisson.  There was sparkling and red wines from the region as well as Sauvignon, and Pinot noir, and Chardonnay etc wines. And we were hook on Clisson!

clisson

You have their webpage here , Domaine du Grand Air:  https://www.domainedugrandair.fr/index.phpi

Clisson

clisson

After getting our feet or mouth wet, we have come back and tried other domaines as well. The wines are super and the prices easy a great way to have a glass of wine for chilling or eating at home. Some of these properties or the ones we like the most in this area are: the Domaine de la Vinçonnière,  Château Le Vallon Des Perriéres, Domaine de l’Epinay, and the  La cave des Muscadet.

clisson

A bit more on the whole area in a nutshell or glass of wine !

This is the sub region of the AOC Muscadet, occupying an area south of Nantes from the lake of Grand-Lieu to Ancenis, with a point to the south in Vendée ( near town of Saint-Etienne-du-Bois). It covers an area of 11 900 hectares or about 29406 acres), and extended to different terroirs along the banks of the Loire. The grape for this region is the melon de Bourgogne, a very low production grape that gives a white wine to drink young and very good with the fish/seafood platters. Some of them are done with the conservation of the fine Lies which are my favorites, and provides more complex aromas and vivacity of freshness to give more grease and roundness to the wine. The number of sub regions of Muscadet are : Fiefs-Vendéens-Brem, Fiefs-Vendéens-Mareuils, Fiefs-Vendéens-Pissotte, Fiefs-Vendéens-Vix, Gros-plant du Pays nantais, Muscadet, Muscadet-Coteaux-de-la-Loire, Muscadet-Côtes-de-Grandlieu, and Muscadet-Sèvre-et-Maine (the best in my opinion)

The official webpage for the vineyards of Nantes is here:  https://www.levignobledenantes-tourisme.com/la-destination/vous-navez-pas-fini-de-laimer/terre-de-muscadet/

In a bit more detail but still very brief just to give you an idea. The vineyards of the Muscadet  Sèvre et  Maine in numbers : 2 AOC regional (Muscadet and Gros Plan du Pays Nantais), 1 sub regional Muscadet Sèvre et Maine,  9 AOC  towns Muscadet such as 3 recognize by the governing body INAO , and  6 in process of validation,  400 domaines, one cooperative Les Vignerons du Pallet,  around  7000 hectares,  99% white wine,  Muscadet  is the 1st AOC in volume in the valley or  Val de Loire.

And there you go hope it makes you try it , they are a find especially if you like the fish/seafood platters we enjoy so much off the coast of Bretagne! And if you have tried them, then come on over to taste on site the real flavor of Clisson and its Muscadet Sévre et Maine! Enjoy it

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

 

 

 

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