Evelyne de Pontbriand (above) of Domaine du Closel says of natural wine, “it should be conventional wines that mention that they use chemicals on the labels. I find it strange that we're the ones that should alert the consumer that our wines are ‘pure’ and ‘natural’ and others don't have to warn that they are ‘chemical’ or ‘poisonous’.
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If I was forced to only drink wines from one region, I wouldn't hesitate. Bracing, mineral whites from Muscadet; complex, tannic Cabernet Franc from Bourgueil; quaffable, irreverent glou-glou made from Gamay, Grolleau, or Pineau d'Aunis; age-worthy Chenin with a touch of sweetness — the Loire covers a lot of ground and rarely gets boring. It's long been one of my favorites because of this huge range of styles.
Natural wine is still an outlier but the community there is one of the strongest anywhere. This month we'll explore why the Loire is so diverse and how the Loire feels like one of the most vibrant, flourishing locales: nowhere else have I seen the hardcore natties working right next to the stewards of tradition more harmoniously.
We're featuring wines from the old guard of organic pioneers as well as an encouraging showing from the next generation. If the Loire is 'paradise on a weekday' as an anonymous vigneron once put it, consider this is your entry into Eden.
Jonathan and Bruno