Loire Valley 1998. Claude Bourguignon 2018.
We spend a lot of time looking across and above our vineyards. We admire the easily evident beauty of ordered vines embellishing the landscape. It’s very infrequent, and certainly not Instagram worthy, to focus below the surface and below the microscope.
In 1998 I spent my usual few weeks roaming the vineyards and cellars of Burgundy before spending one week following the Loire from Nevers to the coast. Much of my trip was visiting producers for importer Paul de Burgh-Day (which is now Robert Walters’ Bibendum Wine Co) where the focus was (and remains) on the finest vignerons with a bent for promoting soil life and low input vinification. Burgundy was its usual inspiring self for wines and conversations of terroir and typicity however it was in the Loire that I felt the dynamic stirring for a lowering of the vision. It was in the Loire that I felt a gathering momentum for seeing and feeling the earth. It shook me up and put us on a patient and determined path to improvement.