Les Vignes Herbel
Anjou is something of a magnet for natural winemakers; some of the Loire’s most iconic names are here of course, including one of the most famous naturalistas, Olivier Cousin. Among many with similar philosophies, one notable arrival on the scene in recent years has been Les Vignes Herbel, which is home to Laurent Herbel and partner Nadège Lelandais. Theirs is an interesting story, and it is one that crosses paths not only with Mark Angeli, who has certainly been an ardent supporter of minimal intervention and low- or even zero-sulphur winemaking in the past, but also another famous Loire vigneron, our old friend Jo Pithon.
The story of Les Vignes Herbel is not a lengthy one. In the early years of the 21st century, Laurent Herbel and Nadège Lelandais (pictured below) were both occupied elsewhere. Laurent had spent five years working for a large domaine, his work in the vines following the philosophy of lutte raisonnée, while Nadège Lelandais was not even working in wine. They met in 2003, and decided that they both wanted out of their current jobs; establishing themselves as vignerons, making good use of Laurent’s expertise, seemed like the best way of achieving this.