Francois Chidaine

Montlouis is an appellation of 400 hectares located directly across the river from Vouvray. (Until it was granted AOC status in 1937, Montlouis wines were under the Vouvray appellation.) The soils in both places are quite similar: sandy clay on a base of tuffeau. Some say that a slightly higher percentage of sand and pebbles in the Montlouis soil makes the wines somewhat leaner than the wines of Vouvray. For us, this trait adds to the charm of Montlouis's sec wines, giving them a lively crispness on the palate and outstanding minerality.

François Chidaine has worked alongside his father Yves for many years, in two independent estates. He works his vines the old-fashioned way, but does not want any mention of organic viticulture on his bottles even though he is certified organic. He champions the Chenin Blanc grape and its ability to produce vibrant wines that age gracefully.

Chidaine's estate is divided into 8 distinct plots, with much of the vineyards between 40 and 80 years old. Clos de Breuil is Chidaine's sec, or dry, cuvée of Montlouis, while Clos Habert and Tuffeaux are demi-sec, or off-dry cuvées. A stunning Méthode Traditionnelle, or pétillant, is made with grapes from younger vines.

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