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

Saturday, 30 May 2015

An echo from VitiLoire – storm brewing in Vouvray

I spent the day at Vitiloire in the centre of Tours. This year there were 158 Loire producers from the Pays Nantais to Saint-Pourçain showing their wines. Once again this year there was a very friendly atmosphere making Vitiloire an annual event not to be missed.

I will report soon on some of the wines I tasted but firstly brief mention of a storm brewing in Vouvray that I discovered today. 

François Chidaine 

Jacky Blot

Two of the leading Vouvray producers – François Chidaine and Jacky Blot (Domaine de la Taille aux Loups), who have the majority of their vines in Montlouis just across the Loire, may well be unable to use the Vouvray appellation unless they vinify their wines within the aire of the Vouvray or in the derogation area of Nazelles-Négron. Jacky Blot has no facilities for vinification in Vouvray, while François Chidaine does apparently have some limited facilities at the Clos Baudouin. However, François now has a new modern winery in Husseau which is naturally much better equipped. 

François has recently been elected président de la Fédération des Associations Viticoles d'Indre-et-Loire et de la Sarthe.

At the centre is the latest Vouvray décret of 8th June 2011. This décret sets out that AC Vouvray has to be vinified within the zone of Vouvray with a part of the commune of the Nazelles-Négron, on the north bank of the Loire just across from Amboise. Transitional arrangements were made for the commune of Montlouis allowing Vouvray to be vinified there until the 2013 harvest. These arrangements have now come to an end, so what happens now? 

The relevant parts of the décret:                 

'Décret n° 2011-650 du 8 juin 2011 relatif à l'appellation d'origine contrôlée « Vouvray »
1° Aire géographique :
La récolte des raisins, la vinification, l'élaboration et l'élevage des vins tranquilles, la récolte des raisins, la vinification, l'élaboration, l'élevage et le conditionnement des vins mousseux et pétillants sont assurés sur le territoire des communes suivantes du département d'Indre-et-Loire : Chançay, Noizay, Parçay-Meslay, Reugny, Rochecorbon, Tours-Sainte-Radegonde, Vernou-sur-Brenne, Vouvray.'
3° Aire de proximité immédiate :
L'aire de proximité immédiate, définie par dérogation pour la vinification, l'élaboration et l'élevage des vins tranquilles et la vinification, l'élaboration, l'élevage et le conditionnement des vins mousseux et pétillants, est constituée par une partie du territoire de la commune de Nazelles-Négron du département d'Indre-et-Loire (partie du territoire au nord de la route départementale n° 1 et à l'ouest de la route départementale n° 75).'   

'XI. ― Mesures transitoires:'
'2° Aire de proximité immédiate :
A titre transitoire, la vinification, l'élaboration et l'élevage des vins tranquilles peuvent être assurés jusqu'à la récolte 2013 incluse sur le territoire de la commune du département d'Indre-et-Loire de Montlouis-sur-Loire.'

Since there was a special dérogation introduced for Nazelles-Négron, it seems odd that there wasn't a similar permanent dérogation for Montlouis as both Chidaine and Blot had vines in Vouvray when the current décret passed into law. 

Both Jacky Blot and François Chidaine have no real need to put AC Vouvray on their labels in order to sell their wines. It's their reputations that counts. Should François and Jacky chose to label them as Vin de France they would still sell with no problem.

A suivré!


Bob Rossi said...

Are there others, who don't have the reputations of Chidaine and Blot, who will be affected? And is the only alternative to label the wine as Vin de France, or can Touraine be used?

Jim's Loire said...

Bob. IGP might be possible but not AC Touraine as from 2016 it won't be possible to have 100% Chenin. Mad but true. Not aware of anyone else who is affected.

David Crossley said...

Ha, typical that the two growers I buy from year in, year out fall prey to the Blatters, I mean pen pushers. I don't care what their wines have on the label, but why would "Vouvray" want to eject two of it's very top producers?

Jim's Loire said...

Good question David. As you can see above from 2013 Vouvray can no longer be vinified in Montlouis, which begs the question why was Montlouis not included when the change to the décret was drawn up.

Unknown said...

Presumably these regulations don't just appear out of nowhere - somebody must have wanted this. Is there any more to this, beyond the natural competitiveness of neighbours across the river? Is it for example a reaction to the more recent perceived buzz around the wines of Montlouis?

Jim's Loire said...

Ian. No the amendments would I think normally be proposed by the Producers' Syndicat. Then have to be approved by the INAO before being signed into law by the French Government. Jacky Blot certainly believes that the recent success of Montlouis is a factor here.