“You must have in your glass, a picture of the soil and the weather,” says Jean-Max Manceau, the proprietor and winemaker at Domaine de Noiré, “I am only the messenger to make the wine…and with 30 years of experience, I’ve learned that its very important to respect [the soil].” As a third generation winemaker, Jean-Max has also been the President of Chinon AOC for the past 12 years. And after working at other wineries in Chinon for 30 years, in 2009, he decided to devote himself fully to Domaine de Noiré.
Just back from their trip out west, Brian scripted this recap of his and Juerie’s visit to Red Car Wines:
On the weekend of June 16-17th, we ventured North from the winery to visit Red Car’s Estate property in Fort Ross Seaview AVA, home of the “true Sonoma Coast”. Located off of King’s Ridge Road, their property lies on the second hill from the Pacific, just North of the likes of Hirsch, Marcassin and Helenthal. Here, Red Car has an incredible 120-acre parcel to which 15 acres are planted (with the potential of 30 +) under vine. The remainder of this property will stay forever wild and protected.
For the past 20 years, Pascal and Christine Pibaleau have been following a holistic diet and living a holistic life, a life-style choice that led to the cessation of chemical usage in their home. And so, when Pascal started to convert his family’s vineyards to organic in 2005, the transition was seamless. With approximately 15ha currently under vine, including the 3ha that Pascal’s great grandfather originally purchased in 1886, Domaine Pascal Pibaleau sits in the Loire Valley, in the appellation of Azay-le-Rideau. Starting as a multi-crop farm with fruit, grapes and grains, it was Pascal’s grandfather who expanded the family’s holdings to 5ha while narrowing his focus on wine. As a 4th generation farmer who started working with his father in 1987, Pascal aimed to produce the best wines in the region from fruit that has been organically and biodynammically farmed.
Inside the 13th Century Chapel at Chateau d’Escurac
It was an exciting trip to Bordeaux that will fruit our fall season with the addition of a number of Left Bank Chateaux. For five days, Patrick Burke, our French Portfolio Director, and Mark Rizzuto, our NJ sales rep, travelled the Left Bank to visit with the estates that will join our book in the fall. And since our representation of Bordeaux has up to this point been limited to the Right Bank, through our relationship with Jean-Luc Thunevin, we are VERY excited to extend the reach of our French Portfolio to the Left Bank of the Gironde.
The vineyards at La Massa & Giampaolo Motta, the estate’s owner/winemaker
After spending time in Bordeaux, Giampaolo Motta left his family’s leather business behind in Naples and headed north to work in Chianti where he learned the art of winemaking. Here and in Bordeaux, he developed the practices and philosophy that he would come to embody at La Massa, where Giampaolo owns 27ha of vineyards in the “Conca d’Oro”, “The Golden Basin”, of Panzano, Chianti. Acquiring this ancient, hilly property in 1991, with its vineyards that have been farmed since the 15th century, Giampaolo gained a reputation with the release of his first vintage of Giorgio Primo, one year later. Proceeding to produce two Chianti Classico wines until he decided to declassify in 2002, Giampaolo immediately gained and maintained a fierce following, and so it is with great pleasure that we welcome La Massa, to our Italian Portfolio.
“It gives us a legitimate ‘left bank’ representation to our book,” says Greg Reeves, our Italian Portfolio Director, ” with their Cabernet based wines. He’s a very passionate, driven producer that spares no expense to realize his vision.”
Michael Schmelzer of Fuoristrada
From vineyards in Tuscany that have been organically farmed since 2004, we are happy to introduce Fuoristrada :: Off Road Sangiovese, and Grillo from Sicily,the first vegan/organic wines to be sold in Tetra Pak containers, the ultimate in Green Packaging.
Produced by winemaker Michael Schmelzer, who also makes Retromarcia, these wines are not “bag in a box wines”; they are “the modern solution to an elephant sized ecological problem”.
In the vineyards at Dirler-Cade in Alsace
It’s official! We welcome the addition of Domaine Dirler-Cadé of Alsace to our French Portfolio. ”When I was visiting the Domaine several weeks ago,” said TB, “my morning meeting ended up being lunch with the family.” And as we reflect upon the history of Dirler-Cadé, it is clear that family is at the foundation of this Domaine, in its founding, its expansion and in its conversion to Demeter/Biodynamic farming. ”As life happens when merging families and concerns,” said TB, “she [Ludivine Dirler] very wisely, quietly and purposefully started directing the evolution of Dirler. The Demeter/Biodynamic piece was carefully woven in, and ten years later, the newly labeled Dirler-Cadé is light years ahead in finesse, elegance and depth with every wine tasted.”
In the vineyard with Didier Delagrange–Clos de Chênes, Volnay
A gregarious man of zest and joie de vivre, Didier Delagrange is the 6th generation vintner at the family-owned Domaine Henri Delagrange et Fils, who began working with his parents in 1990, until he took to the reins in 2003. With 15ha under vine across the communes of Volnay, Pommard, Aloxe Corton, Meursault and Haute Cote de Beaune, Delagrange has been with TEW for the past 10 years, and so we were received like family when we visited with Didier to taste his wines and tour through the vineyards.