Domaine Gigou

The Gigou family operates their quaint 13 hectares farm in the central northern reaches of the Loire Valley - not far from Le Mans, home to the famed 24-hour auto road race.  Joël, who is credited with saving the appellation of Jasnières, started the estate in 1974 along with his gracious wife Sylvie.  His son Ludovic now handles much of the management and his sister Dorothée has recently joined in the efforts.

 

Their vineyards in Jasnières (8ha) are planted to Chenin Blanc producing dry whites - and sweet in vintages when botrytis (noble rot) occurs.  

 

Gamay and Pineau d'Aunis (and the Chenin for one white) is planted in Côteaux du Loir (5ha) for their reds and rosé.  They also produce sparkling wines in all three colors that are not appellation specific.  The range of wines is extensive despite producing only about 40-50,000 bottles per year.  There are lots of old vines.

 

They farm without chemicals. They harvest 60% by hand and 40% by machine (stems left on for the Chenin).

 

Now the remarkable part, Ludovic told me they keep all their bottled wines in their cellar for at least one or two years.  I asked why they do this (wondering how a small estate can defer the revenue). He replied, The wine decides when it's ready.  In some cases, he would hold them back even longer, except they are often out of storage space.  Truly a portrait of a family whose prime concern is that the wines that bear their name are special.

 

VDLT is the only active North American source for Gigou’s wines.

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