Domaine du Clos des Aumônes
Close your eyes and think of Vouvray, and which images pass before your mind’s eye? The undulating sea of vines which runs across the plateau, up and down the deuxième côtes, the leaves rustling gently in a summer breeze? Or perhaps you find yourself standing on the very edge of the première côte, your feet firmly planted on the thin clay soils, beneath which there lie hundreds of metres of Turonian limestone, as you look out over the valley of the Loire itself?
Whichever image of Vouvray springs to mind, I am willing to wager one bottle of an aged moelleux from this very appellation that you aren’t picturing a small prefabricated unit on the industrial estate which sits just to the east of Tours Val de Loire Airport. Yet that is indeed where we are headed in this profile of Domaine du Clos des Aumônes.
The airport, a combined military and civilian installation, has arguably played some role in preserving the western vineyards of the Vouvray appellation. It has long acted as a buffer between the creeping suburban sprawl of Tours and the vineyards of Rochecorbon, which is essentially the western limit of the Vouvray vineyard (there are, in truth, a few residual parcels within the communal boundaries of Tours itself, but let’s not get bogged down in such details).
Only a few buildings stand on the eastern side of the airport, in the main a small industrial estate, which is where we find one of the newest additions to the Vouvray wine scene. The domaine in question is Domaine du Clos des Aumônes, and the vigneron we find standing at the press is Benoît Coulon (pictured above).Please log in to continue reading: