Articles from: June 2013

gfwineblog – biodynamic calendar

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So now we are entering July and not a great start to the week with a leaf day on Monday. Tuesday and Wednesday fair better with two fruit days in the main. Its downhill thereafter on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The only hope is that Saturday turns to a flower day after 7pm and Sunday is a flower day until 6pm. So midweek and late weekend are the times to enjoy a good bottle of wine with company. Its great for us because we have American guests arriving on Monday for a wine tour and we have  a wine tasting dinner starting at 7pm and a tour on Tuesday so all is well for the tasting and drinking of our wines!

Wine blog ing is fun with Grainger’s wine blog so log on regularly to catch up on the latest with the wine scene or something quite different.  You never know what might appear.

Cheers.

Our websites

www.loirewinetours.com   Our wine tours

www.manoirdegourin.co.uk  Our self catering holidays

www.gfwine.co.uk  Our retail wine shop

www.thestrictlywineclub.co.uk  Our wine club

www.vintnersfinewines.co.uk  Our wholesale wine shop

www.thewinefinder.co.uk  Our wine import portal

Our email addresses

info@loirewinetours.com Our wine tours email address for enquiries

graingersatmanoir@yahoo.co.uk Our self catering holiday email address for enquiries

enquiries@gfwine.co.uk Our retail wine shop email address for enquiries

enquiries@thestrictlywineclub.co.uk Our wine club email address for enquiries

enquiries@vintnersfinewines.co.uk Our wholesale wine shop email address for enquiries

Our blogs

www.loirewinetoursblog.co.uk  Our wine tours blog

www.gfwineblog.co.uk  Our wine blog

www.manoirdegourin.co.uk/karins-loire-holiday-cottages-blog  Our gite holiday blog

gfwineblog – weekly facts

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The Loire Valley Wine region.

With over 185,000 acres (750 km2) planted under vine, the Loire Valley is about two-thirds the size of the Bordeaux wine region. Due to its location and marginal climate, the overall quality of a vintage has a dramatic effect on the quality of the region’s wines-more so than with other French wine regions. The most common hazard is that the cool climate will prevent the grapes from ripening fully and developing the sugars needed to balance the naturally high acidity of the grapes. During these cool vintages the Sauvignon blanc based wines are lighter in color, less fruity and have more pronounced mineral notes. The Cabernet franc based wines are also lighter in color with more vegetal or “weed“-like aromas. In riper vintages, a Loire Cabernet franc will develop aromas of raspberries and lead pencil shavings.

The Loire Valley has a high density of vine plantings with an average of 1,600-2,000 vines per acre (4,000-5,000 per hectare). Some Sancerre vineyards have as many as 10,000 plants per hectare. With more vines competing for the same limited resources in the soil, the density is designed to compensate for the excessive yields that some of the grape varieties, like Chenin blanc, are prone to have. In recent times, pruning and canopy management have started to limit yields more effectively.

Winemaking in the Loire is characterized by a general avoidance of barrel aging and malolactic fermentation. However some winemakers have begun experimenting with both. Chaptalization is permitted here and can help wine makers compensate for the under ripeness of the grapes in some years. For red wines there has been more emphasis on extending the maceration time of skin contact in order to bring out more color and tannins into the wine. Temperature control is also an important consideration with the cold autumn weather sometimes requiring that the must be heated in order to complete fermentation fully.

Wine blog ing is fun with Grainger’s wine blog so log on regularly to catch up on the latest with the wine scene or something quite different.  You never know what might appear.

Cheers.

Our websites

www.loirewinetours.com   Our wine tours

www.manoirdegourin.co.uk  Our self catering holidays

www.gfwine.co.uk  Our retail wine shop

www.thestrictlywineclub.co.uk  Our wine club

www.vintnersfinewines.co.uk  Our wholesale wine shop

www.thewinefinder.co.uk  Our wine import portal

Our email addresses

info@loirewinetours.com Our wine tours email address for enquiries

graingersatmanoir@yahoo.co.uk Our self catering holiday email address for enquiries

enquiries@gfwine.co.uk Our retail wine shop email address for enquiries

enquiries@thestrictlywineclub.co.uk Our wine club email address for enquiries

enquiries@vintnersfinewines.co.uk Our wholesale wine shop email address for enquiries

Our blogs

www.loirewinetoursblog.co.uk  Our wine tours blog

www.gfwineblog.co.uk  Our wine blog

www.manoirdegourin.co.uk/karins-loire-holiday-cottages-blog  Our gite holiday blog

gfwineblog – updates

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A convenial diinner in the dining room at Manoir de Gourin gave us a very great start tot the week here in the Loire valley amongst the vines of Anjou and Saumur. Eight guests from New Zealand and the UK joined us for some of Karin’s lovely food and wines from the Saumur appellation Rouge, Blanc and Cabernet de Saumur. Bob and Elvina joined us from Auckland and from the UK Paul and Jenny from our old stomping ground of Cardiff, Mark and Carol and Graham and Sue. An evening that went on into the wee small hours of the following day. Oh well when you have such great company what the heck!

Wine blog ing is fun with Grainger’s wine blog so log on regularly to catch up on the latest with the wine scene or something quite different.  You never know what might appear.

Cheers.

Our websites

www.loirewinetours.com   Our wine tours

www.manoirdegourin.co.uk  Our self catering holidays

www.gfwine.co.uk  Our retail wine shop

www.thestrictlywineclub.co.uk  Our wine club

www.vintnersfinewines.co.uk  Our wholesale wine shop

www.thewinefinder.co.uk  Our wine import portal

Our email addresses

info@loirewinetours.com Our wine tours email address for enquiries

graingersatmanoir@yahoo.co.uk Our self catering holiday email address for enquiries

enquiries@gfwine.co.uk Our retail wine shop email address for enquiries

enquiries@thestrictlywineclub.co.uk Our wine club email address for enquiries

enquiries@vintnersfinewines.co.uk Our wholesale wine shop email address for enquiries

Our blogs

www.loirewinetoursblog.co.uk  Our wine tours blog

www.gfwineblog.co.uk  Our wine blog

www.manoirdegourin.co.uk/karins-loire-holiday-cottages-blog  Our gite holiday blog

gfwineblog – cocktail day

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Grainger’s wine blog today is our cocktail day so get your ingredients ready for the off.

No 20 of our cocktail reviews on a Thursday. Ready for that Friday night go go go.

Today our cocktail is called Blue Monday. The name reminds me of the lovely cheese I tried at the xmas fair at Excel in London last year. Its delicious. The lovely colour and fruity flavour of this cocktail is guaranteed to make Monday your favourite day of the week.

Ingredients:

cracked ice

1 measure of vodka

1/2 mesure of Cointreau

1 tbsp. blue curacao

Put the cracked ice into a mixing glass or jug and pour in the vodka, Cointreau and curacao. Stir well and strain into a cocktail glass.

Enjoy.

Cheers.

Wine blog ing is fun with Grainger’s wine blog so log on regularly to catch up on the latest with the wine scene or something quite different.  You never know what might appear.

Cheers.

Our websites

www.loirewinetours.com   Our wine tours

www.manoirdegourin.co.uk  Our self catering holidays

www.gfwine.co.uk  Our retail wine shop

www.thestrictlywineclub.co.uk  Our wine club

www.vintnersfinewines.co.uk  Our wholesale wine shop

www.thewinefinder.co.uk  Our wine import portal

Our email addresses

info@loirewinetours.com Our wine tours email address for enquiries

graingersatmanoir@yahoo.co.uk Our self catering holiday email address for enquiries

enquiries@gfwine.co.uk Our retail wine shop email address for enquiries

enquiries@thestrictlywineclub.co.uk Our wine club email address for enquiries

enquiries@vintnersfinewines.co.uk Our wholesale wine shop email address for enquiries

Our blogs

www.loirewinetoursblog.co.uk  Our wine tours blog

www.gfwineblog.co.uk  Our wine blog

www.manoirdegourin.co.uk/karins-loire-holiday-cottages-blog  Our gite holiday blog

gfwineblog – weekly wine review

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du pape sg label

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In Grainger’s wine blog today is our weekly wine review. Guide no 24 of my review of all the wines on our wine list at www.gfwine.co.uk   Our list covers most of the wine regions of France and so you should have no trouble in finding a wine to suit your palate. Todays review on Grainger’s wine blog is a wine from the  region of Rhone in France. Our wine review of the week is a wine from Domaine de la Ronciere.    The wine is from the appellation  of  Chateauneuf-du-Pape AOC.

Domaine de la Roncière

In the 14th century, the Popes settled in Avignon, in the corridor of the Rhône River and the Mistral wind, making of Châteauneuf-du-Pape their first wine for Holy Mass. The wine designation’s “terroir” enjoys the benefit of a wide variety of soil types and large pebbles, especially on red clay, which enable the grapes to attain very high levels of maturity.

The family domaine where three generations live together – grandfather, father and son – is made up of 11 hectares of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, 10 hectares of Côtes du Rhône and 4 hectares of Vin de pays. The vineyard respects tradition. it is managed using sustainable farming methods, ploughed and enriched organically. Some of the parcels of vines have nearly reached a century in age, these old strains benefit from more careful handling, allowing the family to make exceptional wines. All the harvests are hand-picked at optimal maturity and the grapes are very selectively sorted on a table.

This enables the estate to offer a range of three Côtes du Rhône wines and four Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines, all different so that each parcel expresses and unleashes its own personality. These are aged either in tank or oak barrel according to the wine.

A red still wine made from 100% Grenache grapes. Hand crafted. A deep red, very powerful, full bodied and tannic wine. Exquisite fig jam and liquorice perfumes, notes of grilled dried fruit. Spicey aromas with a warming finish and good length on the palate. Serve at room temperature with well hung game, venison with a deep rich gravy, and well matured artisanal cheeses.

Wine blog ing is fun with Grainger’s wine blog so log on regularly to catch up on the latest with the wine scene or something quite different.  You never know what might appear.

Cheers.

Our websites

www.loirewinetours.com   Our wine tours

www.manoirdegourin.co.uk  Our self catering holidays

www.gfwine.co.uk  Our retail wine shop

www.thestrictlywineclub.co.uk  Our wine club

www.vintnersfinewines.co.uk  Our wholesale wine shop

www.thewinefinder.co.uk  Our wine import portal

Our email addresses

info@loirewinetours.com Our wine tours email address for enquiries

graingersatmanoir@yahoo.co.uk Our self catering holiday email address for enquiries

enquiries@gfwine.co.uk Our retail wine shop email address for enquiries

enquiries@thestrictlywineclub.co.uk Our wine club email address for enquiries

enquiries@vintnersfinewines.co.uk Our wholesale wine shop email address for enquiries

Our blogs

www.loirewinetoursblog.co.uk  Our wine tours blog

www.gfwineblog.co.uk  Our wine blog

www.manoirdegourin.co.uk/karins-loire-holiday-cottages-blog  Our gite holiday blog

gfwineblog – news

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What a joyous and wonderful day it was on Sunday. We had the most fun we have had for some time in the company of fellow wine lovers as you can see above. Domaine de L’Enchantoir held its summer pink day with its three pink wines. Cabernet de Saumur (sec), Cabernet d’Anjou (demi sec) stills and a most beautifully crafted pink Saumur bubbly. Not too dry and not too sweet an Extra Dry. A super fruity wine. Pierre van den Boom makes all his pinks from Cabernet Franc grapes.  The day was themed in pink so his wife Brigitte was all dressed in pink and the food she had made was all pink coloured. Salmon blinis, a beetroot compote, pale pink ham rolled in a delicious filling.  The aperitif was arranged in the vines behind the house under a canopy. All was well until we had a bit of a downpour and we all huddled under the canopy hoping it would stop. In the end we gave up and ‘walked’ the canopy back to the house as you can see from the pic below. It was hilarious.  We reconvened in the function room for lunch. Brigitte’s brother in law was chief BBQ cook and he managed under trying conditions to cook the chicken and sausages without getting too wet. We placed the canopy over the BBQ! Thank you Pierre and Brigitte for a great day and some great wines. Well done.

wine blog

Wine blog ing is fun with Grainger’s wine blog so log on regularly to catch up on the latest with the wine scene or something quite different.  You never know what might appear.

Cheers.

Our websites

www.loirewinetours.com   Our wine tours

www.manoirdegourin.co.uk  Our self catering holidays

www.gfwine.co.uk  Our retail wine shop

www.thestrictlywineclub.co.uk  Our wine club

www.vintnersfinewines.co.uk  Our wholesale wine shop

www.thewinefinder.co.uk  Our wine import portal

Our email addresses

info@loirewinetours.com Our wine tours email address for enquiries

graingersatmanoir@yahoo.co.uk Our self catering holiday email address for enquiries

enquiries@gfwine.co.uk Our retail wine shop email address for enquiries

enquiries@thestrictlywineclub.co.uk Our wine club email address for enquiries

enquiries@vintnersfinewines.co.uk Our wholesale wine shop email address for enquiries

Our blogs

www.loirewinetoursblog.co.uk  Our wine tours blog

www.gfwineblog.co.uk  Our wine blog

www.manoirdegourin.co.uk/karins-loire-holiday-cottages-blog  Our gite holiday blog

gfwineblog – weekly offer

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Grainger’s wine blog weekly wine offer this week at www.gfwine.co.uk  is a Loire valley wine from Chateau de Chaintres.  This is a Cabernet de Saumur appellation  wine from the cellars of Richard Desouche. A traditional pink wine from the region. The wine is on offer at £6.99 reduced from £10.05.  A terrific price. It is made from the Loire red grape Cabernet Franc. The wine is made when the grapes have reached optimum maturity. It is carefully fermented and aged in the vats in the estate cellars to take in the flavours of the lees.

Chateau de Chaintres is a vineyard in the exclusive red wine Saumur Champigny Appellation of the Loire valley. Wine has been made at the chateau for generations. Chateau de Chaintres has been owned by the Tigny family since 1932. It has more than 20 hectares of vines situated in a delightful walled enclosure that surrounds the beautiful old manor house and vineyards. The terroir is favourable, with typical limestone and chalky soils and the south facing slopes maximises exposure to the sun.

The present estate director and winemaker is Richard Desouche, a vibrant vigneron who obtained his college qualifications before gaining experience in the field. He joined Chaintres in 2007 bringing fresh ideas and innovations.

Richard’s philosophy is to farm in an environmentally friendly way. The use of chemicals was stopped in 2009 and now only “natural” products are used in the vineyards.  2010 was the first year of Chaintres’ conversion into organic farming and biodynamic culture.

Now only ‘natural’ products such as copper and sulphur are used, only when necessary, in the control of diseases through careful monitoring of rainfall. No weed control chemicals are used and soils around and between the vines are left to grass naturally. Richard also applies biodynamic practises to his farming methods.

The grapes are all hand-picked and carefully selected with an eventual yield typically between 50 and 55 hl/ha.  The yields at the chateau are low for the area, producing wines of good concentration, balance and colour. The wines produced are fine and delicate and an expression of the terroir. They are wines greatly enjoyed by the French in the chic wine bars and restaurants in Paris.

The small village of Chaintres to the west of Saumur, sits in the heart of the prestigious appellation of Saumur Champigny, a small red wine AOC area. Chateau de Chaintres was built in the 17th century by the monks attached to Fontevraud Abbey. The old stone walls that surround the chateau and the vineyards are still in place and lend an air of mystique to the quite magical setting. Some of the vines still in use were planted over 70 years ago. The majority of the vines are Cabernet franc, the red grape of Saumur Champigny.

Richard, the winemaker and great raconteur, has converted the vineyards into organic farming and he also.

Chaintres currently produce a small range of quality wines, reds, an oaked white, a rose and a sparkling white.

This is a  still rosé wine made with 100% Cabernet Franc grapes which are the prime grape variety of the Central Loire. A refreshing fruity soft dry style with a velvety attack on the palate of peaches, blackcurrants and nectarines. The wine is produced by direct pressing the grapes to give a light salmon pink colour. Serve at 7-9°C as an aperitif before dinner, with a light starter course, grilled meat, a hot curry  and with cheese.

avour.

 

Wine blog ing is fun with Grainger’s wine blog so log on regularly to catch up on the latest with the wine scene or something quite different.  You never know what might appear.

Cheers.

Our websites

www.loirewinetours.com   Our wine tours

www.manoirdegourin.co.uk  Our self catering holidays

www.gfwine.co.uk  Our retail wine shop

www.thestrictlywineclub.co.uk  Our wine club

www.vintnersfinewines.co.uk  Our wholesale wine shop

www.thewinefinder.co.uk  Our wine import portal

Our email addresses

info@loirewinetours.com Our wine tours email address for enquiries

graingersatmanoir@yahoo.co.uk Our self catering holiday email address for enquiries

enquiries@gfwine.co.uk Our retail wine shop email address for enquiries

enquiries@thestrictlywineclub.co.uk Our wine club email address for enquiries

enquiries@vintnersfinewines.co.uk Our wholesale wine shop email address for enquiries

Our blogs

www.loirewinetoursblog.co.uk  Our wine tours blog

www.gfwineblog.co.uk  Our wine blog

www.manoirdegourin.co.uk/karins-loire-holiday-cottages-blog  Our gite holiday blog

gfwineblog – biodynamic calendar

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gfwineblog.co.uk

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Grainger’s wine blog. The one and only wine blog for all you winos out there.

Not a great start to the week with a non descript Sunday which is a pity because we had a rosé open day today at Domaine de L’Enchantoir. What a great day. Fun and enjoyable with the most wonderful people French and English all mixed together and loving each others company.

Monday is a fruit day so great for an early week bottle of note with the start of Wimbledon. Forget Tuesday ‘cos its a root day as is Wednesday morning. We have flower day on Wednesday afternoon, Thursday and Friday so its a jolly good end to the week. Make the most of it as Saturday and Sunday are both leaf days.

Wine blog ing is fun with Grainger’s wine blog so log on regularly to catch up on the latest with the wine scene or something quite different.  You never know what might appear.

Cheers.

Our websites

www.loirewinetours.com   Our wine tours

www.manoirdegourin.co.uk  Our self catering holidays

www.gfwine.co.uk  Our retail wine shop

www.thestrictlywineclub.co.uk  Our wine club

www.vintnersfinewines.co.uk  Our wholesale wine shop

www.thewinefinder.co.uk  Our wine import portal

Our email addresses

info@loirewinetours.com Our wine tours email address for enquiries

graingersatmanoir@yahoo.co.uk Our self catering holiday email address for enquiries

enquiries@gfwine.co.uk Our retail wine shop email address for enquiries

enquiries@thestrictlywineclub.co.uk Our wine club email address for enquiries

enquiries@vintnersfinewines.co.uk Our wholesale wine shop email address for enquiries

Our blogs

www.loirewinetoursblog.co.uk  Our wine tours blog

www.gfwineblog.co.uk  Our wine blog

www.manoirdegourin.co.uk/karins-loire-holiday-cottages-blog  Our gite holiday blog

gfwineblog – weekly facts

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gfwineblog.co.uk

Grainger’s wine blog is gfwineblog.co.uk

Grainger’s wine blog. The one and only wine blog for all you winos out there.

 Pineau d’Aunis

Pineau d’Aunis (also known as Chenin noir is a red French wine grape variety that is grown primarily in the Loire Valley around Anjou and Touraine

A favourite of Henry Plantagenet, the English king had Pineau d’Aunis wine first brought to England in 1246.  Today the grape is permitted in several Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) wine regions of the Loire Valley, including Cheverny and Coteaux du Vendômois

While a red wine grape, Pineau d’Aunis if often treated like Pinot noir and is used to make rosé and white wines in both still and sparkling wine styles.

Pineau d’Aunis was reportedly a favorite wine of the English King Henry III who had the wine first brought to England in 1246.

The name Pineau comes from the French word pin and refers to the pine cone shape that clusters of grapes can resemble. It was first used to describe a grapevine growing in the Loire Valley in 1183 AD but whether or not this was Pineau d’Aunis is not known since Pineau has been a synonym used for Pinot noir, Chenin blanc and Menu Pineau (Arbois).

Aunis, within what is now the Charente-Maritime department, was a pays erected into a historical province, the smallest of France, in 1374; it was a fief of the Duchy of Aquitaine, brought to the English monarchy by Eleanor of Aquitaine. In Aunis the grape may have once been grown, but is currently not widely planted.However, wine writer Oz Clarke believes that the grape was named after a priory known as Aunis that existed outside of the commune of Saumur during the Middle Ages.Today what is left of the Aunis priory belongs to the Fontevraud Abbey in Chinon.

Author Michel Freyssinet speculates that Pineau d’Aunis may have originated in the Vendée region and was brought to the Loire region by salt merchants sailing up the Atlantic coast. According to Freyssinet, the vine was first planted in Chahaignes in what is now the Sarthe department of the Loire in the 9th century.

The grape was known in England by the 13th century when it was a favorite wine of King Henry III of England. Henry, the son of John Plantagenet and Isabella of Angoulême (a commune is what is now the Charente department), began importing casks of Pineau d’Aunis wine to England in 1246. In England, the usually light coloured Pineau d’Aunis was often blended with darker colored wines such as those made from red-fleshed teinturiers.

The wine that Henry imported was labeled as vin clairet, leaving wine writer Richard Kelley to presume that Pineau d’Aunis was the “original claret“.

During the Hundred Years’ War, King Charles VII of France gave Philip the Good, the Duke of Burgundy, vines of Pineau d’Aunis as a peace offering in 1425. Other accounts say that Charles’ gift of Pineau d’Aunis was made to John VI, Duke of Brittany instead.

In 1816, André Jullien described Pineau d’Aunis as being widely grown throughout the Loire, particularly in the Loches commune of Touraine. In 1845, French ampelographer Alexandre-Pierre Odart described Pineau d’Aunis as Chenin noir which lead to speculation that Chenin blanc, the notable Loire grape of Vouvray and Savennières, was a color mutation of Pineau d’Aunis. However, DNA testing in the early 21st century confirmed that Pineau d’Aunis is not related at all with Chenin blanc nor Pinot noir, with which it is frequently confused.

As with most French wine grapes, the phylloxera epidemic of the late 19th century drastically cut into the Pineau d’Aunis plantings in France. The construction of the Paris–Bordeaux railway as well as the 1980s high-speed expansion of the LGV Atlantique and the planned construction of the LGV Sud Europe Atlantique threaten to gobble up more plantings of Pineau d’Aunis but sparked some vignerons to launch conservation efforts to save the variety from extinction.

In 1958, there were 1,741 hectares (4,302 acres) of Pineau d’Aunis planted in France. Throughout the rest of the 20th century that number would steadily decline and by 2009 there were 435 hectares (1,075 acres) in France.

Pineau d’Aunis is a mid-ripening variety that can produce very irregular yields with the quality of the resulting wine sharply diminished if yields become too excessive. Like the Pinot grapes, the vine produces small, compact bunches that can be highly susceptible to botrytis bunch rot, particularly in wet climates. Chlorosis is another viticultural hazards that can impact Pineau d’Aunis, inhibiting photosynthesis and leaving the leaves of the grapevine prone to sunburn and browning.

Wine writer Richard Kelley notes that Pineau d’Aunis is a “very terroir-sensitive” variety that will greatly reflect the vineyard soils and growing conditions that it experience. In soils with high limestone content, it can ripen very quickly which can limit the amount of phenolics and aromatic compounds that have time to develop. However, cooler soils with high clay content and high water capacity may retard the ripening too drastically.

The variety has a tendency to bud irregularly, depending on the climate. It will always bud after Chardonnay, Gamay and Pinot noir, and thus have much less risk of suffering from spring time frost, but will bud much earlier than Cabernet Franc. Depending on the vintage, Pineau d’Aunis will usually bud around 4 to 5 days before Chenin blanc followed by flowering at about the same time as Chenin.

Like Gamay, Pineau d’Aunis will develop thick, reddish-color stalks in the autumn with the leaves changing color to a bright red with purple/bluish veins.

Currently, there are two clones of Pineau d’Aunis being widely propagated. Clone #289 which lends itself more to vin gris style wines and Clone #235. In recent years, some vignerons have been moving away from using clonal selections in lieu of using massale cuttings taken from a broad swath of vines from old “pre-clonal” vineyards with the aim of creating more genetic diversity in the vineyard.

Like many French grape varieties, plantings of Pineau d’Aunis from the 1960s onward were most often grafted onto SO4 rootstock (an interspecfic crossing of Vitis berlandieri and Vitis riparia). Given Pineau d’Aunis susceptibility to chlorosis, this rootstock did particularly well in vineyards with high calcium content in the soil. However in most other soils, the rootstock propensity for increased vigor and creating excessive foliage created problems for the vine with canopy management and increase susceptibility to mildew and rot. In recent years, more vignerons have been turning to Riparia Gloire de Montpellier (derived only from Vitis riparia) rootstock.

Historically Pineau d’Aunis has been grown throughout the Loire Valley and Centre region of France with plantings in the Indre-et-Loire, Loir-et-Cher, Loiret, Maine-et-Loire, Sarthe and Vienne departments. Today it is most closely associated with the Anjou and Touraine region of the middle Loire where it is a permitted grape variety in several AOCs including Anjou, Saumur, Touraine, Valençay, Coteaux du Loir and Coteaux du Vendômois.

In the Anjou AOC, Pineau d’Aunis can make up the blend for the general rouge wine along with Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Gamay. Here the grapes are limited to harvest yields of no more than 40 hectoliters/hectare (approximately 2 tons/acre) with the finished wine needing to attain a minimum alcohol level of at least 10%. In the sparkling rosés of Anjou Mousseux it can be blended with the same grapes as the rouge, plus Groslot, with yields that can go up to 65 hl/ha (≈ 3.4 tons/acre) and a minimum alcohol level of 9.5%.

For both the reds and rosé of the Coteaux du Loir, based around the Loir tributary of the larger Loire river, Pineau d’Aunis is limited to harvest yields of 55 hl/ha (≈ 3 tons/acre) and is blended with Cabernet Franc and Malbec in a wine that must have at least 9% alcohol by volume.

White wine can be made from the red Pineau d’Aunis grapes by pressing whole clusters of the grape (example with Pinot noir) quickly after harvest, leaving no time for skin contact that extracts the color compounds of the skins into the clear juice.

In the town of Vendôme in the Loir-et-Cher department, Pineau d’Aunis is made into a varietal wine of all colors (red, rosé and white) in Coteaux du Vendômois. The white AOC wine is made from whole cluster pressing of the grapes soon after harvest with no skin contact to extract color. Grapes for the red and rosé are limited by a maximum yield of 60 hl/ha (65 hl/ha for the white) with the finished wines having a minimum alcohol level of 9% (9.5% for the white).

For the sparkling rosé and white Crémant de Loire which spans the Loire Valley wine region, Pineau d’Aunis can be used in a blend with Chenin blanc, Cabernet Franc, Pinot noir, Groslot, Arbois and Chardonnay. For this AOC, yields for all wines are limited to 50 hl/ha with the wines having at least 9.5% alcohol by volume. For sparkling Saumur, Pineau d’Aunis is blended with most of the same varieties as Crémant de Loire (with Sauvignon blanc and Malbec instead of Arbois and Gamay permitted for the sparkling red and rosés) but yields are allowed to go up to 60 hl/ha though the wine needs to meet the same minimum alcohol. In Touraine, the sparkling cépage allows Pineau d’Aunis to be blended with any of the varieties used in both Saumur and Crémant de Loire under the same minimum alcohol restrictions but with an even higher yield allowance of 65 hl/ha.

Pineau d’Aunis is also permitted in the red and rosé of the Saumur AOC where it is blended with both Cabernet grapes as well as Groslot. Similar to the greater Anjou AOC, yields are restricted to 40 ha/hla with a minimum alcohol level of 10%. In the red wine-only sub region of Saumur-Champigny, Pineau d’Aunis is only blended with the Cabernet varieties but with the same maximum yield and minimum alcohol restrictions.

In the general Touraine AOC, the Pineau d’Aunis is limited to harvest yields of 55 hl/ha and can be blended with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Gamay, Malbec, Pinot noir, Groslot and Pinot gris in the red and rosé wines of the AOC. The minimum alcohol level for these wines much reach at least 9%.

Along the Cher river, Pineau d’Aunis is grown in the Valençay AOC where it is blended with the Cabernet varieties, Malbec and Gamay in the red and rosé wines. Grapes are restricted to yields of 45 hl/ha with a minimum 9% alcohol by volume.

Pineau d’Aunis can be made into a wide range of wine styles from red, rosé to white and in both still and sparkling styles. According to Master of Wine Jancis Robinson, Pineau d’Aunis as a red wine tends to produce slightly tannic wines and with all styles can contribute noticeable acidity and white pepper notes.

Richard Kelley notes that the quality of varietal Pineau d’Aunis will depend heavily on the type of yields that the grape was harvested at, as well as the age of the vines. Well made examples of red Pineau d’Aunis from favorable vintages will have the characteristic white pepper note of the variety as cherry, raspberry and strawberry fruit flavor and sometimes kirsch and confit notes. Long, slow fermentations at cool temperatures (around 20°C/68°F) will help to extract aromas that don’t stray “baked” fruit flavors. The low phenolics and anthocyanin content can make color extraction difficult, though this can be enhanced with both blending as well as “bleeding off” (saignée) some of the juice to more concentrate the must.

Over the years Pineau d’Aunis has been known under a variety of synonyms including: Aunis (in Loir-et-Cher), Brune Noir, Chenin Noir (in some parts of the Loire Valley and California), Côt á Bourgeon blanc, Côt á Queue Rouge, Gros Pineau, Gros Véronais, Kek Chenin, La Brune Noire, Mançais Noir, Pineau, Pinot d´Aunis, Plant d´Aunis (in Loir-et-Cher and Maine-et-Loir), Plant de Mayet (in Sarthe) and Shenen nor.

 

 

Wine blog ing is fun with Grainger’s wine blog so log on regularly to catch up on the latest with the wine scene or something quite different.  You never know what might appear.

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A great day out wine touring and tasting with our lovely guests Jane (not Tracey) and Franco. It was meant to be four but unfortunately Keith and Val had to cry off. It was still good fun despite the weather with overcast and wet under foot. Even Hubert our wine maker refused to venture into the vineyard. Still whilst Jane was chatting up Hubert or was it the other way round!! Franco and I had a good look at the chardonnay vines.

Thereafter we worked our way slowly through the chai into the tasting room where Hubert managed to open every bottle of his repertoire and much appreciated thank you Hubert.

Jane and Franco are now experts on Loire valley wines after my extensive talk on the valley wines!

Wine blog ing is fun with Grainger’s wine blog so log on regularly to catch up on the latest with the wine scene or something quite different.  You never know what might appear.

Cheers.

Our websites

www.loirewinetours.com   Our wine tours

www.manoirdegourin.co.uk  Our self catering holidays

www.gfwine.co.uk  Our retail wine shop

www.thestrictlywineclub.co.uk  Our wine club

www.vintnersfinewines.co.uk  Our wholesale wine shop

www.thewinefinder.co.uk  Our wine import portal

Our email addresses

info@loirewinetours.com Our wine tours email address for enquiries

graingersatmanoir@yahoo.co.uk Our self catering holiday email address for enquiries

enquiries@gfwine.co.uk Our retail wine shop email address for enquiries

enquiries@thestrictlywineclub.co.uk Our wine club email address for enquiries

enquiries@vintnersfinewines.co.uk Our wholesale wine shop email address for enquiries

Our blogs

www.loirewinetoursblog.co.uk  Our wine tours blog

www.gfwineblog.co.uk  Our wine blog

www.manoirdegourin.co.uk/karins-loire-holiday-cottages-blog  Our gite holiday blog

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