Although Denis Meunier is only 26, his small domaine is one of the most old-school you are likely to see in Vouvray. Denis took over 13 hectares of old-vine chenin blanc (up to 65 years old) from his father and uncle in 2012. Even after a string of heartbreaking vintages early in his tenure, his vision and dedication are unwavering. He is moving the domaine toward organic farming, with a resolute “respect for terroir” — the distinctive gravelled tuffeau and clay-silex soils of Vernou-sur-Brenne and Chancay. Recent investment in more sophisticated equipment allows Denis to work with much greater precision on the press pad and in the cellar. The results are pure, crisp, lively chenins that both harken to a classic Vouvray style and anticipate a long trajectory of terroir-focused winemaking for this driven young producer.
TuffeauIn general, tuffeau is the name for limestone in the Loire Valley formed 90 million years ago in the Mesozoic Era. Over the millennia, sediment from the sea floor, comprised of fossilized living organisms and sand particles, became compressed to form what is now known as Tuffeau. It differs from genuine chalk by the presence Ostracées, otherwise known as fossilized shells.
SilexSilex, otherwise known as flint, is a hard, sedimentary rock made of quartz most often found in chalks and limestones.
MarlTertiary material such as clays, sands and marls, coupled with minerals (iron, sulfur and zinc), bond to the porous Chalk, and a light, compact, fine-grained rock is created. This mixture is capable of holding an enormous amount of soil water. This moisture is drawn from the rock by capillary action to nourish the roots of the vine.
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