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'When you work with horses, people have a different idea of you. They remember you, and this makes a difference. I would have never got my first vines without it.'
Based in Noizay, Alexandre Giquel was never predestined to make wine or to become a farmer, as no one is his family was from the trade. He is, however, a Loire native, and has dedicated his time in the region doing numerous internships to really understanding the area. Having worked with many organic growers whilst learning, he was always inclined to lean into that approach from the word go with his own project.
Alexandre is one of the few makers we met in the region to farm without any tractors. He is committed to work his soils with horses, and having trained for many years previously with Philippe Guichard from La Table Rouge, it only makes sense. They now share up to 6 horses, and when time allows, will likely also use these to work the vineyards for other winemakers in the area as well. He only sprays his vines with a backpack, as he believes that this is the most efficient way of doing it, despite the physical difficulty of such a task – those bags can weigh up to 30kg when full!
All his vines are planted on clay with silex, with a subsoil of Tuffeau. They are at least 20 years old, and he has a few Chenin plots in Vouvray averaging about 90+ years old.
His project was brought to life in stages, starting with his négoce wine called “Huit Launay” in 2017, and then taking on a vineyard in 2018 that was difficult to manage with a tractor (according to the farmer that gave him the land). He is now looking after 3.15ha, and we cannot wait to see what the future holds for this young estate. His range now includes two Chenin Blancs from the Vouvray appellation, as well as a Gamay cuvée called Maluseaux.