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Domaine Francois CHIDAINE - Montlouis sur Loire
Francois Chidaine, top winemaker in Montlouis
François Chidaine, the pioneer of the great wines of Montlouis-sur-Loire, has come from a family of winemakers for several generations. If he worked for a time on the family farm, he quickly set up his own business in Montlouis sur Loire in 1989, with only a few hectares of vines. Joined by his wife Manuela and Nicolas Martin, François Chidaine has managed to grow and advance for more than 25 years to achieve the supreme distinction: a third (and ultimate!) Star in the 2017 edition of the prestigious RVF guide to the best wines of France.
This exceptional winemaker claims his peasant heritage, transmitted by relatives close to nature. Respect for the land is at the heart of his concerns, and it is for this reason that he starts his work in Montlouis-sur-Loire under the label Bio, and then move on to biodynamics since 1999.
For this enthusiast, biodynamics is a global approach, it is to use the living to give the best of the plant. Play on balances, interactions, the microbial life of the soil ... it sows fabaceae between its vines to regulate nitrogen, useful to the balance of the plant, but also in the fermentation process of the wines.
Montlouis-sur-Loire is above all Chenin, a varietal not very widespread in the world, which reigns supreme over the thirty hectares of the estate shared between Montlouis and Vouvray. If it is in South Africa that it is the most present, it is, according to François Chidaine, in the valley of the Loire that it best expresses the terroir. Its vines are relatively young but they already print the peculiarities of its land, each single vineyard of which is treated separately.
Until recently, François Chidaine (just like Jacky Blot, another great winemaker of Montlouis, followed by Xavier Weisskopf), vinified 10 hectares of vines under the name Vouvray. Unfortunately, the union of Vouvray has deprived them of the right to print it on their labels because of the vinification of the wines in their cellars of Montlouis, two kilometers away, on the other bank of the Loire.
The two winemakers still produce some of the best Vouvray, but under the name Vin de France, as the famous Clos Baudouin for example.
Robert Parker's wine advocate : There is I think no place on earth outside of the Loire where you can enjoy this kind of mind-boggling wine value.
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