The renaissance of the Quincy and Reuilly appellations has been driven to a large part by newcomers to wine, both locals and outsiders who have arrived here, keen to plant some vines and to get fermenting. Sometimes these newcomers have little experience in working the land, being perhaps slightly idealistic city folk, although many seem to have succeeded al the same. More often, though, they are local farmers who have seen a valuable opportunity to diversify.
One such farmer was Bruno Lecomte, a céréalier and cereal négociant from Avord, a town to the west of Sancerre and Menetou-Salon and best known as the home of Air Base 702, France’s second-largest such installation. This huge military base is home to an AWACS surveillance unit, a strike group of four Mirage fighter jets and sixty of France’s nuclear midrange missiles. I tried to drive through it once, when I was en route to meet Bertrand Minchin at La Tour Saint Martin. My route was eventually barred by a fence of barbed wire and gun-toting guards, so as short cuts go it wasn’t one of my finest.