Vignoble du Loup Blanc
Who: Le Vignoble du Loup Blanc is result of the hard work and passion of Alain Rochard, Nicolas Gaignon and Carine and Laurent Farre, whose ever stronger motivation is to produce wines with the purest expression and harmony.
Winemakers and estate managers, Carine Farre, (Laurent’s sister) and Nicolas Gaignon are the vineyard’s associates.
Children of Saumur in Maine-et-Loire, the two partners Alain and Laurent, settled in Quebec in the mid-90s. They are owners of the Bistro le Continental and Le Rouge Gorge in Montreal, (where they offer an eclectic wine list from around the world) but spend extensive time in France each year.
Alain acquired the estate in 2002 with, at the time, 10 grape varieties, an established cellar, and, most importantly, a magnificent terroir. Since then, he and Nicholas have been in charge of the winemaking, while Carine takes care of all the administrative, accounting and commercial part. She is also the leader of the team of pickers. (if you ever want to go over to work a harvest, ask for Carine!)
Where: Bize-la-Minervois, 11120. The Minervois is a vast amphitheater facing South, about 50 km from East to West and 30 km from North to South. Located at the base of the Montagne Noire, the altitude of the vineyards of Loup Blanc can vary from 50 m at the edge of the Canal du Midi and the Aude to more than 500 m on the first foothills.
Vineyards: “We have practiced organic farming since 2005 and we have been certified since 2007 by Ecocert. A few stone’s throw from Saint Jean de Minervois, our vineyards with native Languedoc varietals, are rooted in a soil of limestone and red clay and being only 30 km from the sea, enjoy a mix of marine and semi-mountainous diet of climate. The high altitude and the cool nights allow a slow maturation of the grapes resulting in a vast aromatic range of wines marked by finesse.”
“Carignan Noir, which is the ‘base grape’ of our estate, blends with our Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault for wines in the AOP Minervois appellation.
Tempranillo, Alicante and Chenanson are found in our IGP wines.
Grenache Gris and Blanc, Terret Bourret and Carignan Blanc round out our whites.”
Cellar: “Our approach is healthy and rich: preserve the freshness in our wines and to promote forgotten grape varieties.”
In the cellar, the grapes ferment by the work of the only native yeasts without the input of oenological products (additives, chemicals, etc). “Our wines are the pure expression of our terroir, combining complexity, minerality, and balance. We want each vintage to share our pleasure, our craftsmanship with simplicity, friendliness, and happiness.”
Fun fact: Why the name ‘Vignoble du Loup Blanc’? “Because we are somewhat of outsiders to Minervois, as we all hail from different areas of France. So when we first settled into the area, we were known as such…which is why we allude to the mysterious ‘white wolf’ in our name.”
Le Vignoble du Loup Blanc wines are available in Massachusetts + Maine via Ideal Wine & Spirits ; http://idealwine.us/