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Les Grandes Vignes
'We are attentive to the rhythm of the planets and adapt certain works, in particular tillage, in order to take advantage of favourable influences.'
We are delighted to introduce the newest addition to our portfolio, Les Grandes Vignes. A family business, Jean-Francois Vaillant took over the Anjou estate with his mother in 1985, and with the help of his brother and sister, continues to run the domaine today.
As soon as the wines landed in the UK, we sat down for a team call to catch up with both Jean-Francois Vaillant and his right-hand cellar man, Benjamin. Tasting through the lineup, the team was blown away by the incredible concentration of the Chenin Blancs, the fresh yet serious nature of the bubbles and the buzzing spirit of the red. Especially after learning that they farm 55ha - a significant size to produce wines with such depth and energy.
While Jean-Francois began his winemaking journey employing conventional farming techniques taught in school, he decided to make the switch to organics in 1998 and became certified biodynamic in 2008. An impressive feat as Les Grandes Vignes is one of the few domaines of that size in the Loire valley to be certified.
Because they have been farming this way for the past 15 years, the yields are quite low and the vineyards buzz with life and biodiversity. They encourage natural flora and fauna to thrive in conjunction with their vineyards and most of the work is done using horse and sheep as well. The labels are mini-directions, pointing to where you’ll find the vineyards harvested for a particular cuvée, each site with it’s own unique terroir.
While the wines animated the team, the infectious nature of the relationship between Jean-Francois and Benjamin kept us chatting for over an hour. Almost like a father-son duo, they work together, share the same devotion to the vines and tease each other throughout the process. It truly is a family domaine and the love comes through the wines. We are so excited the lineup has arrived and can’t wait to share them with all our fellow Loire lovers.