Pithon-Paillé, 2017 Update

Much has changed at Pithon-Paillé since I last stopped off to taste their wines, which was two years ago now (I usually taste their wines at least once per annum, but last year so many other things just seemed to get in the way). Two years ago Jo Pithon remained nominally at the helm, although presumably looking forward to retirement, just as many of his Anjou peers including Vincent Ogereau, Yves Guégniard and Claude Papin have also done. His stepson Jo Paillé was making the wines, and when I visited in 2014 it was certainly the younger Jo and his wife Wendy that I tasted with, and who I took a tour of the vineyards with. Jo Pithon, as ever larger than life, breezed by to say hello at one moment, but no more than that.


But as I said, things have changed. Jo and Wendy Paillé left in 2015, apparently in a disagreement over the direction in which the domaine was going, although to be honest with such a difficult fracture in the family I have resisted the temptation to pry. Jo Paillé now makes wine in the south of France, as does Wendy Paillé, at the renowned La Soula winery in the case of the latter. Meanwhile, back in St-Lambert-du-Lattay, Jo Pithon installed his son Jules (pictured above) as the new heir, while he continued to work towards retirement which I believe he has now fully embraced. Last I heard, Jo had taken to cycling across France, and the exercise means this larger-than-life character is now apparently half the man he used to be (I heard from Yves and Marie-Annick Guégniard recently that Jo cycled past their domaine and they didn’t even recognise him).

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