Domaine de la Charmoise, 2018 Update

First up in my series of Touraine updates this week is one of the appellation’s best-known and most popular domaines. Based in the Sologne, the great triangle of land that sits between the Loire to the north, and the Cher to the south, Domaine de la Charmoise has a long and illustrious history. Its origins can be traced back to the early 20th century, when Claibert Marionnet married the daughter of the proprietor of a polycultural smallholding. His wife’s family grew a variety of crops, including vegetables and fruits, and as was the norm for these small-scale agriculteurs they also had some livestock, including chickens and goats. And most importantly, of course, they also had a few rows of vines. It was under the direction of Claibert Marionnet that the domaine began to specialise, planting more vines, winding back on the planting of other crops, and selling the animals.

Domaine de la Charmoise

It was in 1967 that Claibert’s son Henry Marionnet took over the running of the domaine, which by this time was dedicated entirely to the vine. Under Claibert the property had been planted with a broad array of varieties, some of questionable merit, hybrids and similar sub-standard stock. The domaine no doubt looked like a phylloxera hangover. As a consequence Henry was compelled to completely replant, in a project that lasted eleven years, from 1967 until 1978. Of course he focused solely on Vitis vinifera, especially Sauvignon Blanc, Côt, Cabernet Franc and other classic Touraine varieties. This perhaps explains why today Henry’s top wines (which, incidentally, come from ungrafted vines) are given the Vinifera moniker.

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