If you are headed to Sancerre from Nantes and staying on the main road, you will go through some major wine regions that most of us have heard of - Muscadet, Saumur, Chinon, Bourgueil, Vouvray. But if you're feeling adventurous, take a left in Tours and you will find yourself in a winemaking region that the world has forgotten. Hidden parcels of Pineau d'Aunis and Chenin Blanc that was planted before your grandparents were born. This is the magical land of Coteaux du Loir!
Now I know that some of you reading this have heard Coteaux du Loir and maybe even some of you have heard of Pineau d'Aunis, even tasted this deliciousness......
but have you heard of Renaud Geuttier?
Renaud is based in the village of Bueil en Touraine - with training as a agronomist with a speciality in plant physiology and virtually no winemaking experience, he bought half a hectare of old vines from his stepdad. That was in 2004 - in the past decade or so Renaud has added tiny parcels of old vines a little at a time. He now farms over 25 plots across around 5 hectares, with an average vine age of 80 years and a wild diversity of microclimates along the left bank of the Loire River.
This diversity allow Renaud to create a balance in his wines that is unparalleled.
The terroir is combination of clay, flint and chalky limestone; his farming is both meticulous and admirable, done organically and by hand, without the use of chemicals or pesticides. Everything is farmed according to organic/ biodynamic principles and harvested by hand. Renaud was the first in the Coteaux de Loir AOC to plow his vineyards with a horse! He spends countless, fastidious hours in his vineyards. The majority of his vines are Pineau d’Aunis, however, he also grows some Malbec (Côt), Gamay, Grolleau, and Chenin Blanc.
His winery or cave is located in a former quarry dug into the limestone cliffs. All grapes are hand picked and basket pressed. The juice is fed by gravity to the cellar - only natural yeast (wild fermented). A long elevage in old wooden casks follows. Renaud considers this absolutely necessary when producing wines as he does, without filtration or the addition of sulfites. Once deemed ready, they are bottled by gravity, by hand.
These diverse plots of old, healthy vines and Renaud’s attention to detail to every aspect of the wine reminds me of the very definition of vigneron....not just a farmer, not just a winemaker - a guide, a shepherd from vine to glass. His wines are absolutely gorgeous - tasting exactly as they should. They are chiseled, powerful wines of uncommon balance, elegance and detail.
wanna try something new? get a bottle or twelve
Click on the labels below for
detailed information about each wine