In recent years we have seen many domaines in Vouvray shift from more conventional methods of working to unofficial or certified organic and in a handful of cases biodynamic viticulture. In this, of course, the appellation is far from unique; many vignerons in the Loire Valley, from the Atlantic vineyards of Muscadet and the Fiefs Vendéens, to the mountainside slopes of the Côte Roannaise and Côtes du Forez, have turned to these methods in recent years.
Some of these vignerons have gone further to protect their soils, embracing the use of horses to work the vines alongside, or rarely instead of, the tractor. Indeed, in Vouvray and Montlouis, there is a group of vignerons including Damien Delecheneau and Michel Autran who have banded together to work with horses in their vines, engaging the services of Philippe Chigard. One young Vouvrillon who is only too familiar with this way of working is Alexandre Giquel (pictured above); he released his first wine in this appellation as recently as 2017, but his curriculum vitae includes a number of years spent training horses to work in vineyards.