Loire Valley

Domaine de l'Ecu | Muscadet Sèvre & Maine

Certified Organic & Biodynamic

Domaine de l’Ecu was founded by pioneering Guy Bossard in 1972, certified organic in 1975 and certified biodynamic by Demeter in 1998. The domaine has been producing unique, single terroir Muscadet for almost 40 years running and makes a stunning array of Vin De France bottlings as well. Fred Niger, who trained extensively with Guy before taking over the estate in 2012, is an equally hands on owner and fanatic in the vineyards. He crops extremely low, and produces Muscadets that have remarkable depth, precision, as well as ageability. Like Guy, Fred is deeply committed to biodynamic and organic practices but he takes these commitments even further by incorporating various types of energy work, working in terra cotta amphora, and working with minimal to no sulfur in many cuvées. Fred continues to make the domaine's stunning single parcel Muscadets maintaining their benchmark quality, while expanding the domaine's offerings with myriad single variety bottlings and fermenting and ageing in amphora.  Most notably, Fred continues to go beyond the limits of standard Muscadet and the Melon de Bourgogne grape with his stunning VDF wines, impressive not in the least because they have no added sulfur and yet ring with a purity, vibrancy and clarity that defies what one thinks is possible with natural wines. The Estate VDF bottlings use mature vines originally planted by Guy Bossard. Fred has also recently spearheaded two new projects, Les Temps de Copains and Love & Grapes. (read more)

Château Tour Grise | Saumur-Puy-Notredame

Certified Organic & Biodynamic

Philippe and Françoise Gourdon founded Château Tour Grise in 1990, taking their half of a recognized family estate and striking out on their own with a deep commitment to organic and biodynamic farming and minimum intervention in the cellar. Before bio was cool, Philippe was animated by his like-minded, local, organic/biodynamic iconoclast peers of the 1990s, such as Guy Bossard, Nicolas Joly and Mark Angeli in trying to find meaningful and sustainable solutions to vineyard maladies. He is a staunch believer in promoting the greatest measure of biodiversity in the vineyard, in preserving the integrity of the vine in its quest for balance within the vineyard ecosystem. Tour Grise obtained biodynamic certification in 1998. Philippe and Françoise retired in 2015 but they remain active members of the Renaissance des Appellations committee and also spend a good deal of time training and helping those who have taken over their vineyards. Fortunately for us, they have deep cellars enabling us to continue to offer back vintages of several of their Saumur and Anjou bottlings. (read more)

Sylvain Dittière/La Porte Saint Jean | Saumur-Champigny

Certified Organic

Armed with formal schooling and a remarkable “un-training” from some of the best natural winemakers in France, such as Marc Tempé in Alsace, Gérard Gauby in the Roussillon, Thierry Germain and Antoine Foucault in Saumur, Sylvain Dittière struck out on his own in 2010, at the ripe age of 25. He acquired a 2.5 ha parcel of Cab Franc in Saumur-Champigny that had already been farmed organically and a gem of jurassic cellar that enables him to work without temperature regulation and by gravity. Little by little he has grown the domaine to 4 hectares and has added a couple single parcels, Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc and experiments with sparkling and oxidative wines as well. He works with minimal yields, native yeast fermentations, ages in barrel and doesn't sulfur until bottling. (read more)

Laurent Herlin | Bourgueil

Certified Organic & Biodynamic

Laurent Herlin has been working without chemical inputs since 2009. His wines are lively and expressive like his soils and are a true pleasure to drink. (read more)

Vincent Gaudry | Sancerre

Certified Organic & Biodynamic

Vincent Gaudry has been committed to organic and biodynamic farming early on - he started farming organically in 1993, was certified in 2002, and became the first in the region to be certified Biodynamic,in 2004. Gaudry is almost spiritual when talking about his approach to farming and winemaking and and he has deeply held beliefs about the power of the earth and the expression of  the region's unique terroirs. His domaine covers 9 hectares of vineyards planted among the region’s three main soils: clay-limestone or marl (terres blanches), flint (silex) and stony, rubble-like limestone that come from weathered Kimmeridgian (caillottes). A small plot of 90 year-old vines planted on marl allows Gaudry to work via “massale selection."His motto is “Trust in Nature,” which comes across in every bottle, imbued with stony minerality and structure. (read more)

Florian Roblin | Côteaux du Giennois

Often referred to as "the poor man's Sancerre," the Côteaux du Giennois lies approximately 20 km north of Sancerre and the best parcels, like Florian's Champ Gibault, often have a mix of clay & flint over a chalk base. This translates to affordable wines with clear mineral character and cut. His whites could easily be mistaken for Sancerre tasted blind and his red offers a bit more richness, structure and fruit forwardness then many Sancerre rouges, all at a fraction of the price.He avoids chemical treatments, uses native yeasts for the majority of his fermentations, keeps sulfur use to a minimum.  (read more)

Domaine Sérol | Côte Roannaise

Certified Organic & Biodynamic

The Côte Roannaise may be little known but the wines stand out boldly and speak for themselves, whether its the luscious, off-dry sparkling gamay "Turbullent," the delicate and precise bone dry still rosé "Cabochard", or the dense and spicy south-eastern exposed single parcel "Oudan".  Technically part of the Loire Valley but actually much closer to Beaujolais, it is 50 km west of Morgon in the Monts de Madeleine, close to the Loire River's source in the Massif Central. Gamay reigns supreme in this high elevation site perched on a vein of granite, and the domaine's myriad single parcels capture nuanced expressions of place and make for extremely compelling wines. The domaine dates back to the 18th century, Stéphane is the 5th generation to work this land and he and his wife Carine have done much to elevate the recognition of their appellation, Gamay Saint Romain - the locally adapted version of Gamay native to the area, and they have also done much to spread the word about responsible farming. Today they have close to 30 hectares, the oldest vines are 80 years old and, the domaine is certified organic and in the process of converting parcel by parcel to Demeter certification. (read more)


Julien Thurel (cider) | Loiret

Certified Organic

Julien Thurel, a woodsman and ornithologist, has been making foraged and organically farmed pear and apple ciders since 2012. He had devoted the 3 preceding years researching local apple and pear varieties, selecting the ones best suited to the clay, limestone and silex soils and that would lead to delicate yet aromatically complex ciders. All of the varieties are local to the Pays Gatinnais and Sancerrois. Julien grafted and planted his orchard himself and while he lets the orchards mature, he is making  his ciders from foraged fruit he in sites he has been studying for years. All his fruit is grown without chemicals and hand harvested, a rarity for cider production. He makes 3 passes throughout the season and ages the fruit on organic lattes in a sheltered outdoor spot near his cellar that gets eastern wind. The aging can take 10 days to a month, depending on varietal and vintage. This further concentrates the flavors and facilitates a better extraction at pressing. Each varietal is pressed and fermented separately in stainless steel with native yeast. The juice is then blended before ageing in neutral barrel. Secondary fermentation in barrel. No sulfur until bottling, with a  max of 15-20mg. (read more)