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.
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.
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