A Visit to Domaine Bernard Baudry, 2018

I turned in off the road which runs from Chinon out to Cravant-les-Coteaux, pointing my car between some very familiar gateposts. Tall and square, their stone a distinctive pale grey – more like marble than limestone – and wearing their little lead caps, these gateposts have stood guard over the entrance to Domaine Bernard Baudry for as long as I have been visiting (or as long as I can remember, at any rate).

My visit to meet Matthieu Baudry has now become something of an annual fixture, and not infrequently we have headed out into the vines. There was the grand tour of the domaine we undertook back in 2016, taking in the majority of the domaine’s vineyards, including Les Grézeaux and La Croix Boissée, not to mention Bernard’s famous vegetable patch (a real honour!). In 2017 I returned for a briefer tour, this time heading in the opposite direction, downriver to Le Clos Guillot. Later the same year I also went to see where much of the Domaine cuvée is sourced, from the Cimetière aux Chiens on the plateau behind Chinon, when I went to check out the 2017 harvest (photographs of which now grace my Bernard Baudry profile). This year, we elected to taste at the domaine, and while we did so Matthieu talked me through his approach to both viticulture and winemaking.

The Domaine

First, a quick potted summary of the domaine, for those less familiar with it, and for subscribers who have not the determination to wade-through my detailed profile, at the time of writing standing at ten pages (but, to be fair, this does include two pages of tasting notes).

Bernard Baudry

The Baudry family have a very long history in this region, going back several centuries, and for much of this time they have been best associated with Domaine de la Perrière, which sits on low-lying and more alluvial soils to the southeast of Cravant-les-Coteaux. Instead of taking up work on the family domaine, however, Bernard Baudry set out on his own, first working with Jacques Puisais in the Tours viticultural laboratory, before biting the bullet in 1975 with the acquisition of his first vines. Those same vines today give us Les Grézeaux, which is I suppose the ‘original’ Baudry cuvée. It was only with the passing of time that he accrued the prestigious vineyards which his son Matthieu Baudry and I have been busy visiting over the past couple of years.

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