Hervé Villemade, Cheverny

Hervé Villemade has been working his family's vines in Cellettes since taking over from his father in 1995. Today, the estate represents about 22 hectares of organically farmed fruit, all within the Cheverny and Cour-Cheverny AOCs. When Hervé first took over the estate, everything was farmed chemically and vinified conventionally. Unaware of an alternative, he […]

Domaine Olga Raffault, Chinon

Since Olga's death a few years ago, Domaine Olga Raffault is run by her granddaughter Sylvie and Sylvie's husband Eric de la Vigerie. The estate has terrific plots of land in the Savigny-en-Véron district hard by the Vienne riverbanks. The ‘les Picasses’ vineyard stands out from the rest: old vines of 50-ish years on a […]

Clos du Tue-Boeuf, Cheverny

Brothers Thierry and Jean-Marie Puzelat's Clos du Tue-Boeuf is one of the oldest estates in Cheverny (the property and the Puzelat family are mentioned in records dating to the 1400s). Jean-Marie, the older brother by 10 years, was joined on the estate by Thierry in the early 90’s and they began converting their vines to […]

Thomas-Labaille, Sancerre

Winemaker Claude Thomas finally retired in his late 70s when son-in-law, Jean-Paul Labaille, took over as vigneron. Since then, only minimal changes have occurred. The vineyards remain among the best in Chavignol, with a large proportion of old vines. The Monts Damnés plot is too steep a slope to ever consider machine harvesting, which is […]

Château Soucherie, Layon

The Tijou family has a long history as viticulteurs in the Loire Valley region near Angers. In fact, they have practiced their craft, father to son, since 1780. The actual Domaine de la Soucherie was purchased from the Marquis de Brissac in 1952. At the time almost all the wine produced at the Domaine was […]

Chais Saint Laurent, Touraine

Chais Saint Laurent is a "Petit Négociant” specializing in wines from the Loire Valley and focused on producing small quantities from select vineyards. Estate manager Jean Mounard has significantly raised the bar in terms of the quality of the wines, while maintaining a truly remarkable price/quality ratio. Also, by tapping his connections at some better […]

Clos Rougeard, Saumur-Champigny

Clos Rougeard has been in the Foucault family for eight generations, with the estate itself dating to at least the mid-1600s (the time from which the earliest documents for the estate date). Run by the brothers Nady and Charly Foucault since 1969, Clos Rougeard has risen to be the single greatest estate in Saumur-Champigny, and […]

Pierre-Olivier Bonhomme, Touraine

Pierre-Olivier Bonhomme is one of the most influential figures in natural wine in the Loire, in France, and beyond. Working with his partner Thierry Puzelat of of Clos du Tue-Boeuf, Pierre-O has discovered some of the finest, most naturally-managed vineyards in Touraine and Cheverny and focused his winemaking on developing that excellent terroir to be […]

Domaine Luneau-Papin, Muscadet

Pierre and Monique Luneau-Papin are the eigth generation of winemakers at this estate in the heart Muscadet. It is a region where much bulk wine is produced, however this estate produces smaller cuvées from their several plots, which are always vinified separately to reflect their terroir’s particular character. The estate has a high proportion of […]

Jolie Folle

Jolie Folle is a sommelier-driven wine from Brian Smith of Loca Linda fame, made in close collaboration with friends, farmers and winemakers. The focus is on non-interventionist winemaking, preserving the natural health of select vineyards, and making great wines bottled in earth friendly large format bottles. Wines: Jolie Folle Rosé Pays de Méditerranée Jolie Folle […]

François Pinon, Vouvray

The wines of François Pinon are considered among the finest of Vouvray and the land of the estate is rated as a top site. His main focus is "to keep the typicity of both the appellation and the vintage" in all his wines. He follows a discipline of plowing the vineyards, not using chemical fertilizers […]

Domaine de la Pépière, Muscadet

Owner Marc Ollivier takes his time. He hand harvests (a rarity in the region), uses natural yeasts, waits for the wine to finish and bottles with a very light filtration. The vineyards are in old vines (40 years and older) with a particularly good exposition on a plateau overlooking the river Sèvre. All the vineyards […]