Vignes de l’Atrie, Pays Nantais

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Vignes de l’Atrie has changed hands twice in the 21st Century. In 2012 Michel Roblin retired and sold the property to an ardent but inexperienced biodynamicist. Frustrated by multiple frost vintages and the often difficult climate of Vendée (just south of the Pays Nantais), she in turn handed the estate over to Élise Hamant in 2017. Though also young and idealistic, Hamant has experience: a native of the Côte Chalonnaise, she’s also worked in such diverse regions as the Haute-Savoie, Roussillon, Muscadet, and in Saumur, interning at the great Clos Cristal. The natural and biodynamic practices remain largely unchanged at l’Atrie under Hamant’s direction, including horse-drawn tilling and having sheep over-winter among the vines for weed management and manure. Along with more experience in the vineyard, the quality of the wines has vastly improved under Hamant’s gentle hand. The property’s 5 hectares are planted to a hectare each of Grolleau Gris, Grolleau Noir, Gamay, and Chardonnay, with two smaller plots of Cabernets Franc and Sauvignon.