5 February, 2022

Around 9 a.m. we stand in the cellar and prepare the bottling of the oxidative wine after we tasted it briefly in the morning (no mouse!). The bottling plant can fill four bottles at the same time, we’ll leave it at three. The bottles we use hold 1/2 l. Thomas bought the best cork, it costs just under one euro a piece. I operate the ancient cork machine, Thomas fills the bottles. We have to improvise, as always! A match here, a bit of refilling there with the pipette, it wasn’t easy! For lunch we try Thibault Stéphan’s »Faites Entree La Cuvée« from 2020: brilliant. Thomas believes it will age well because of its pronounced tannins. Great fruit, no reduction, fantastic! I work for Thibault too, as an agent. I met him through Thomas last year at a fair in Clisson. On Sunday we will visit him at his vineyard and cellar in Le Puy-Notre-Dame. In the afternoon we meet Marie Rocher in Angé, in one of the Vincent vineyards from which she gets her grapes. He has a total of 50 hectares! Everything is incredibly clean and tidy, meanwhile, on Marie’s initiative, 20 hectares are ecologically managed. Afterwards we taste her new wines in her small shed, which inspire us all.

The cork ›machine‹, operated manually

The cork ›machine‹, operated manually

Thomas working on the bottling plant, adjusting the amount of wine being filled into the bottles

Thomas working on the bottling plant, adjusting the amount of wine being filled into the bottles

Our bottling set-up: in the foreground my chair and the cork ›machine‹, a wheelbarrow with already-filled bottles, the bottling plant and the vat we took the wine from with Thomas checking to see how much juice is left

Our bottling set-up: in the foreground my chair and the cork ›machine‹, a wheelbarrow with already-filled bottles, the bottling plant and the vat we took the wine from with Thomas checking to see how much juice is left

That's what Thomas sees – only very little juice left. What remains are the dead lees we don't want in the wine (although they taste great, in a special kind of way)

That's what Thomas sees – only very little juice left. What remains are the dead lees we don't want in the wine (although they taste great, in a special kind of way)

Marie Rocher and Thomas Puéchavy in Angé

Marie Rocher and Thomas Puéchavy in Angé