Montlouis is an appellation of 400 hectares located directly across the river from Vouvray. In fact, until it was granted AOC status in 1937, Montlouis wines were produced under the Vouvray appellation. François Chidaine worked alongside his father Yves for many years, and today he devoutly manages an estate blessed with vines between 40 and 80 years old. For years he was a leader first in organic and then in biodynamic farming…..today in the US it is referred to as “carbon farming”. Chidaine’s farming practices no longer includes plowing or tilling his soils as he believes it destroys the mycorrhizal network (funghi network) that actually connects individual plants together and can transfer water, carbon, nitrogen and other nutrients and minerals between neighboring root systems.
All the Chenin Blanc is hand picked and sorted. Fermentation is with indigenous yeast in stainless steel tank. The wine is then aged in a combination of tank and used demi-muids.
Montlouis Les Bournais – Les Bournais is a relatively newly planted site overlooking the Loire river. It had been abandoned for some time, but Chidaine believes that this is one of the very best sites in Montlouis, and planted vines here in 1999. Unlike most of Montlouis, which is on clay and silex, or flint, Bournais lies on clay and limestone, and the name Bournais refers to the particular type of limestone found here. Chidaine’s goal is to vinify this dry, barring the occasional aberration such as 2005, and the result is a dry, powerful, full-bodied wine, probably the closest to Vouvray in profile of all Chidaine’s Montlouis wines.