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Order François Chidaine wines from the domain
This is the famous Domaine François Chidaine, a superb Loire estate. Find all the best references of this prestigious estate on Comptoir des Millésimes. This is one of our partner estates, which means that their wines are sent directly to our cellar after being bottled on their estate. The winemakers reserve an allocation of their cases of wine for us each year. So don't hesitate to create an email alert (in the my alerts section) on François Chidaine in order to be the first to be informed of the latest arrivals.
Presentation of the François Chidaine estate
A superb Loire estate located in Montlouis, run by the dynamic couple, François and Manuela Chidaine. For years, Chidaine has been a leader in natural viticulture, practicing organic and biodynamic farming. Today, Chidaine adopts "regenerative agriculture", a no-till farming approach where permanent cover crops of native and seeded plants co-exist with the vines. By mimicking nature, the vines find their place in a complex ecosystem, allowing them to better express their place of origin. In addition, by building the soil, François improves the rate at which CO2 is removed from the atmosphere and converted into plant matter and soil organic matter. In addition to a range of Montlouis blends and individual parcels, Chidaine also produces a few wines from the best vineyards in Vouvray, as well as several delicious, easy-drinking, value-for-money wines made from grapes purchased from neighbouring vineyards in the Touraine appellation.
History and expertise
François Chidaine worked alongside his father Yves for many years before setting up his own business in 1989. Convinced of the potential of the terroirs of Montlouis and Vouvray, he bought assorted parcels and expanded the estate to a total of 30 hectares of Chenin Blanc, many of which are dominated by old vines between 40 and 80 years old. During these years of growth, Chidaine has earned a reputation as one of the region's leading natural winemakers. Today, he is dedicated to what is known in the United States as "regenerative agronomy," which involves implementing practices known to improve the rate at which CO2 is removed from the atmosphere and converted into plant matter and soil organic matter (thereby diluting the CO2 in the soil). At the heart of this approach is the practice of "no-till" agriculture. While tillage is an integral part of natural viticulture for many farmers and growers, it is thought that this soil disturbance interferes with the complex network of mycorrhizae (a network of fungi) that actually link individual plants together and transfer water, carbon, nitrogen and other nutrients and minerals between them. After years of tilling his soils, François became convinced that by ploughing he was sabotaging these important communication networks that help give the vines what they need to thrive. A key aspect of regenerative agriculture is the establishment of permanent cover crops between the rows of vines. François encourages biodiversity by promoting the growth of native plants and planting over 25 additional species among the vines. By mimicking nature, the vines find their place in a complex ecosystem, allowing them to better express their place of origin. This progressive vision is not simply about producing the best possible grapes, but rather about looking to the future. In the words of Francis - and other supporters - "this is how we will save the world". It is estimated that as much as a third of the excess CO2 in the atmosphere, which causes climate change, comes from agricultural practices and land management. Through organic and biodynamic farming, François has never seen the results he now sees in his soils and vineyards. But he admits that he is grateful to have taken these paths as they have led him here, and he hopes that others will join him. At the Domaine, François is a true champion of the Chenin Blanc grape and touts its ability to produce vibrant wines that age gracefully. He is happiest in his vineyards, but he is not far from being in the middle of his barrels. In many circles, François is as respected as a winemaker as he is as a winemaker. He produces a range of entry-level Touraine wines - Clos de la Grange Sauvignon Blanc, Touraine Rosé and Touraine Rouge - all of which are very good value for money. Two sparkling wines make up the range.
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