Domaine aux Moines | Organic estate winery in the Anjou region of the Loire Valley, France. It was founded in 1981. The name of the estate translates as ‘Domaine of the Monks’, recalling the monks from the nearby abbey of Saint-Nicolas who developed wine-growing here from the Middle Ages. The main wines are Savennières-Roche aux Moines AOC and Anjou-Villages AOC.
Owners | Monique Laroche and her daughter Tessa.
Terroir | The estate is located at the highest point of the Roche aux Moines hillside, bordering the Loire river. The sloping hillside vineyard is well exposed to the south-south-west side, a sunny location sheltered from northerly wind. The presence of the Loire regulates temperatures, and mitigates risks from spring frosts. Soils are schistous with traces of material of volcanic origin containing phtanite, rhyolite and spilite.
Vineyard | 12 hectares of vines in a single self-contained spot surrounding the the domaine buildings (which date to the 17th- and 18th-centuries. The main variety grown is Chenin Blanc for Savenières, with a little Cabernet Franc for Anjou-Villages AOC.
Biodynamics | ‘No horn manure 500 or Horn silica 501 sprays are being used. Valerian 507 is sprayed on the vines [against frost I would imagine]. Cover crops are sown,’ I was told (Real Wine Fair 2017).
Certification | 2009 From 02nd March 2009 the estate began converting to official organic status. | 2012 First vintage with full organic certification.
Savennières Roche aux Moines AOC, aux Moines | 100% Chenin Blanc. From 3 hectares of young vines in the Roche aux Moines. Hand picked. Nice fresh apple flavours (Real Wine Fair 2017).
Savennières Roche aux Moines AOC, Domaine aux Moines | 1981 Moelleux Described as showing ‘aromas of bandages, suggesting the presence of Brettanomyces,’ by Sarah Ahmed (2004). | 2014 100% Chenin Blanc. Hand picked. 25,000 bottles. Mix of stainless steel and new and used oak. Slightly odd taste (Real Wine Fair 2017).
Anjou-Villages AOC, Domaine aux Moines | 100% Cabernet Franc.
Domaine aux Moines
La Roche aux Moines
F-49170 Savennières (Maine-et-Loire), France
Michael Tulipan, ‘Domaine Roche aux Moines – Loire’, organicwinejournal.com 19 June 2014 (retrieved 22 June 2016).
Sarah Ahmed, ‘Savennières: a half-century tasting’, World of Fine Wine 2 (2004), p.20.