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Michel Autran

Michel Autran

It is always exciting to see domaines move from one generation to the next, especially so in recent years, as the younger generation in France has a previously unseen level of experience, often including a stage or two worked in the New World. No less exciting are the newcomers; new arrivals, often from unrelated industries, bringing new passion and enthusiasm. Thankfully they are not so rare in the Loire as they might be in Burgundy or Bordeaux, the benefit of lower land prices; two that spring immediately to mind in Touraine include Bertrand Jousset, an ex-military man doing good things with his ex-sommelier wife Lise in Montlouis, and Peter Hahn, an American financier who has rescued 4 hectares of the Vouvray appellation from ignominy.

Michel Autran

The potential significance of such newcomers should not be under-estimated; if I may draw a parallel with a domaine in Anjou, Richard Leroy might bask in his cult status today, but it is easy to forget that he came to winemaking from the world of banking, his introduction to fermented grape juice being through nothing more than a few blind tastings with his local wine club.

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