Grape(s): 70% Gamay, 30% Pinot Noir
Localization: Loire, France
Tasting Notes: Medium-bodied with medium tannins, it is bright yet earthy, with layers of red berries and cherries and good acidity.
Notes: These grapes are hand-selected from a parcel of the "Carteries" vineyard, which has mostly soils of sand, silex and clay. The grapes are fermented whole-cluster with natural yeasts and the wine finishes carbonic maceration. The entire process begins in cement and is then moved to a tank to settle before being bottled with no SO2.
The Domain: Located in the eastern section of Touraine, just between the Sologne and the left bank of the Loire, Christian Venier tends his vines of classic Loire varietals. He has a deep set of roots himself, as his family has been making wine and tending vines for centuries in the region. Out of his seven brothers, he was the one who looked lovingly towards the vines and nodded, “Yes, I will take charge.”
As the new branch of the family, he has turned his attention to the soils and their unique expressions through the varietals. He purchased fourteen hectares of vines from a waning farmer in Madon, the town in which he was born, and revitalized the old cellars in his father’s home in 1998. Following the path of his friends Thierry and Jean-Marie Puzelat, he began farming with biodynamic methods, intervening as little as possible. He has now become an inspiration to the younger generation of winemakers because of his wines which are frank and living. He has, in his fold, Gamay, Pinot Noir, Menu Pineau, Pineau d’Aunis, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Franc, and Chardonnay.
The soils are of silica and clay to varying degrees, some with gravel or stones. As he harvests each by hand, he considers perfect ripeness and an appropriate vessel in which to vinify and age the wine. The cellar makes use of resin-fiberglass, stainless steel, cement, and oak, all in large format. The wines are all fermented with natural yeasts and no further additions or subtractions. All the wines enter the tank as whole clusters and are then allowed to ferment spontaneously under a loose-fitting seal. A hint of oxidation is welcomed.
The aim is to create a wine with more minerality and structure (such as that added by stems) while maintaining the natural feel of the wine that the vine itself offered. Christian is a wild, joyous soul with a look in his eye as old as the vines around him. It is this land, his family around him and the growing potential of the vines that gives him this gaze. He is a man who makes wine for pleasure, and around whom it is a pleasure to be.