Estates / Domaine Champalou
REGION: Loire Valley
APPELLATION: AOC Vouvray
Catherine and Didier Champalou both came from vigneron families, yet their mutual sense of independence prompted the couple to brave it on their own right after completing viticultural school in Saumur.Vouvray is home to the noble Chenin Blanc, more commonly known as Pineau de la Loire in their part of the world.
The Champalou family farms twenty-one hectares of vineyards on clay, limestone, and siliceous soils. They embrace sustainable farming while also integrating the use of the lunar calendar more traditionally associated with organic viticulture. The soils in their vineyards are rich, deep, and aerated though regular plowing. Cover crops are planted in between vineyard rows to help with excess water absorption and to encourage microbiotic activity in the soil. The Champalou house style produces wines of great elegance and tenderness, highly aromatic with impeccable balance.
Also known as Garden of France and Cradle of the French due to the slew of vineyards, vegetable farms, and fruit orchards in the region, the Loire Valley is right in the middle of the Loire river. The area is known for many kinds of fruity, crisp wines: rose, red, white, and sparkling.
The region’s favorable climate – often a midpoint between the southern and northern French climes – it owes to the river, which is cool in springtime and possibly rainy during harvest season. Also, the temperatures of hot summers are similarly mitigated by the river and the breezes of the Atlantic Ocean.
There are a number of wine regions similarly situated along the river Loire, such as the Atlantic’s Muscadet region, as well as Pouilly-Fumé and Sancerre southeast of Orléans.
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