Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Bio-diversification amongst Les Vignes Herbel

No not Château Herbel but the lovely Château de Montreuil-Bellay not too far from their cellars at Vaudelnay

I met Nadège Lelandais and tasted the wines of Les Vignes Herbel at the Renaissance des Appellations tasting in Angers at the beginning of February, so it was good to get a 2009 price list and news from them yesterday.

Wild flowers and Chenin Blanc: photos from previous years – see explanation below

Nadège Lelandais and her partner Laurent Herbel, like a number of young producers in the Loire, have set up on their own without the assistance of family vineyards that have been passed down through from generation to generation. They started in 2005 and have a three-hectare parcel of vines at Rochefort-sur-Loire called La Pointe. This includes 1.4 ha of Chenin Blanc planted in 1920 and 1.6 ha of Cabernet (70% Franc and 30% Sauvignon) planted in 1974. They farm organically and biodynamically.

Flowers, vines and dandelions

Their winery is some distance away at Vaudelnay close to Montreuil-Bellay – about 47 kilometres from vine to vat! True nothing like Australian distances but still I would imagine a complicating distance!

In 2009 they are experimenting with bio-diversification – plating fruit trees between their rows of vines as well as plants like mustard and scorpion weed. They also have two small beehives in La Pointe. They are also looking for another one or two hectares of vines.

I have emailed Nadège and Laurent asking for some photos of their bio-diversification – it would be good to have a counterpoint to orange vineyards! Hope to be able to post a few soon.

Bee amongst the flowers in the Herbel vineyard

In Anjou the wines from Les Vignes Herbel can be found at le Cercle Rouge (bar à vins, Angers), Chez Rémi (restaurant on Boulevard Foch, Angers), Une Ile (restaurant, Angers) Vino Vini (caviste – Les Ponts de Cé) and La Guillemette (restaurant, Béhuard).

From the explanation of the thinking behind Les Vignes Herbel:
'Le pouvoir de 'consom’action' est le plus grand que nous ayons si l'on souhaite faire évoluer les choses. A nous de choisir, le société que nons voulons construire, et le monde que nous laisserons à nos enfants.'

Note from Nadège about the photos
'Voici quelques photos des années précédentes. Nous travaillons le milieu des rangs et laurent coupe régulièrement les herbes à la débrouissalleuse, par contre, nous avons à coeur de laisser les fleurs. Non seulement c'est joli, ça fait du bien au sol, mais en plus, elles attirent beaucoup d'insectes et de petits animaux. Tous ces petits 'Ephémères' qui font la richesse de notre parcelle et de son terroir.'

Laurent Herbel and Nadège Lelandais, 14 Rue des Roches, Vaudelnay


Bio-diversity in Savennières – good to see examples of this in vineyards in Savennières on the le tasting room's blog.

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