Alain Cailbourdin, 2020 Update

Today Alain Cailbourdin might be regarded as one of the Pouilly-Fumé old guard. He first acquired vines in this appellation in 1980, not through inheritance but through hard graft. Originally from Paris, his first introduction to the life of a vigneron was during his student years, when he undertook some casual work picking grapes. Having caught the wine bug he went on to study viticulture and winemaking in Beaune, and then he somehow gathered together sufficient funds to purchase 2 hectares in Pouilly-Fumé, from which he made his first wine.

Alain Cailbourdin

Alain (pictured above) therefore now has forty years of wine experience under his belt, and unsurprisingly he is looking to his own son Loïc to take on more of the work in the vineyard. So I wasn’t surprised when in response to my request for a meeting to taste his latest and forthcoming releases Alain replied “no problem, but I won’t be there, my son Loïc will show you the wines”. But then, when I turned up on the day, there was Alain waiting for me, bottle in one hand, glass in the other. There was no problem; Loïc was close by, safe and well. I think it is just that some vignerons – and, in the Loire Valley, Alain would not be alone in this matter – have difficulty with fully embracing retirement.

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