Loire adventure: visiting the remarkable François Saint-Lô

François Saint-Lô

The rain was easing as we arrived for an appointment with François Saint-Lô, but it was still a cold, damp day. Not ideal for tasting wine. There’s nothing fancy about his place, but it has a good feel about it. It’s a gem of a project: it seems like a wine-making commune, with [...]

Loire adventure: Melaric, Saumur

It may have been May, but it felt like November as we arrived at Melaric in Saumur. It was cold, blustery and the rain beat down incessantly on the roof as we talked and tasted. This is the project of Mélanie and Aymeric Hilaire (above, in his cellar), two young vignerons whose fused names create [...]

Loire adventure: Bernard Baudry, Chinon

Matthieu Baudry

Next stop on the Loire adventure was Chinon, with Matthieu Baudry of Domaine Bernard Baudry. The domaine was created by Bernard, father of Matthieu, back in 1975, and Matthieu joined in 2000. His dad is technically retired but is still involved. This is mostly a red wine domaine, and is devoted to Cabernet [...]

Loire adventure: Clau de Nell, Anjou

Sylvain Potin and Christian Jacques

There’s an interesting story behind Anjou-based biodynamic winery Clau de Nell, which was the next stop on our Loire tour.

Christian Jacques was married to the late Anne Claude Leflaive, and in 2008 the pair purchased the struggling Clau de Nell domaine, initially with a view to running it with the [...]

Loire adventure: Vincent Carême, Vouvray

Vincent Carême

The drive from Montlouis to Vouvray took us past the famous troglodyte residences built into the tufa (soft limestone) cliffs that follow the Cher and Loire rivers. Here, homes and wine cellars have been built into caves that were created when limestone for building was extracted. They are quirky and wonderful.

For winegrowers who [...]

Loire adventure: the film

This is a film of our Loire Valley wine adventure. We started with a day in Paris, then we head to Sancerre, before working our way up the Loire to Muscadet. It’s such an interesting wine region, and we met some great people, and tasted and drank many memorable wines.

In this film we meet the [...]

Loire adventure: Taille aux Loups, Montois, with Jacky Blot

Amboise

The view from my bedroom window!

We finished our appointment at Puzelat and headed to Amboise. It was a beautiful sunny evening, and we were quite excited, because we were staying in a castle right in the middle of town. Nicole, who booked accommodation for the trip, is officially the queen of Airbnb, and [...]

Loire adventure: Clos du Tue Boeuf with Jean-Marie Puzelat

Jean-Marie Puzelat

This was quite a visit at Clos du Tue Boeuf. I’ve met Thierry Puzelat before, and I’ve tasted these wines a bit. They are brought into the UK by Les Caves de Pyrene, and I’ve always loved them. Here was a chance to visit. Thierry was travelling, so we met with Jean-Marie, older [...]

Loire adventure: in Sancerre with Joseph Mellot

Sancerre

We drove from Paris for just over two hours to the beautiful town of Sancerre, looking gorgeous in the May sunshine. Our visit here was with Joseph Mellot, a relatively large producer making wine in each of the Central Loire appellations. Mellot has over 100 hectares of vines, with significant holdings in Sancerre (57 [...]

The world's flintiest vineyard?

I have seen a lot of vineyards in my relatively short career, but this one was one of the most remarkable. Flint on flint.

Sébastien Redde

Back in 2009, Domaine Michel Redde (Thierry and his two sons Sébastien and Romain), decided that they wanted to produce a remarkable vineyard. In their region, Pouilly-Fumé, silex (flint) is [...]