Getting a grip on the 2016 vintage

Tomorrow starts a crazy few days of wine tasting here in the Loire valley. Over the past few years it has been a real juggling act to fit in all the tastings we’d like to attend as they all fall around the same time. This is of course practical if you are traveling to the Loire from afar but it makes it hard work. We’ll probably taste over a hundred wines or more in the coming week but it’s the first chance to get a grip on the latest vintage.


Liv Vincendeau of Domane Vincendeau


Mathieu & Stephanie Vallée of Chateau Yvonne



Natalie Leduc of Leduc Frouin (right)


Anne Guegniard of Domaine de la Bergerie

Arnaud Lambert of Domaine de St Just

Arnaud Lambert of Domaine de St Just


Eddy Oosterlinck-Bracke of Domaine de Juchepie


Patrick Baudouin of Domaine Patrick Baudouin


As I’m sure many of you know, 2016 was the hardest year in the Loire valley for a long long time. There are growers who ended up with practically nothing in the cellar and who will struggle financially this year (particularly those fairly new to the scene) and there are growers who did not suffer at all, were rewarded with fine weather at the end of the season and brought in fantastic quality grapes. A year of agony and ecstasy.  It will be exciting to taste the wines and catch up with all our partner growers.

In Saumur is the annual Dive Bouteille – held in the cellars of Ackerman it’s a fantastic tasting of organic and natural wines from around the world.

In Angers there is the Renaissance des Appellations tomorrow, the more traditional Salon des Vins de Loire starting on Sunday for 3 days and the Levée de la Loire (an organic wine tasting that has been integrated into the main Salon) on Monday and Tuesday.

In addition there are smaller tastings in the evenings and a whole programme of food events to accompany this busy wine week.

The big tastings are trade only but some of the smaller ones are open to the public for a fee. We’ll be reporting back on our tastings in the new few weeks.  In the meantime I have my pen and tasting book at the ready.