Domaine de Bellivière, Jasnières

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Eric Nicolas, a city kid without any roots in either the region or in agriculture, developed a passion for vines and wines, and after studying oenology, he looked in the Loire to acquire vineyards, mainly because he had met several passionate winemakers there. Eric and his wife Christine found an estate with some vines, but mostly grazing fields, trees and grains. They nurtured the existing old vines and did a lot of planting, to get to their current 14 hectares, scattered over the territory of 6 villages. They now use sélection massale (cuttings from old vines) rather than clones, and plant at a density of 9,300 vines per hectare. Located about 30 miles north of the city of Tours, the Jasnières and Coteaux-du-Loir AOC’s (37 and 48 hectares respectively) are isolated at the edges of three provinces: Maine, Anjou and Touraine. They are also the northernmost viticultural areas in the west of France (in the east, only Chablis, Champagne and Alsace are further north).