Terra

In Latin means EARTH...: the history of the domain and the presentation of the vineyard.

History of the domaine

View on the vineyard
View on the vineyard

Taken over from the Richou family by Luc Briand and Bénédicte Petit, a couple who are mad about wine, Terra Vita Vinum was born from a combination of passions. The adventure began with the preparation of the 2019 harvest, our first vintage. After our third harvest, our roadmap is becoming clearer:

Passion for the terroir
Luc is a child of the country. It is the terroir that greatly influenced our choice for this estate. The proximity of the Loire, the Aubance and the Layon rivers, as well as the different types of schist and volcanic rock in this part of the Anjou Noir region, appealed to us. In order to better reflect all these differences, we wish to progressively shed certain plots of land to better develop a smaller area.

Passion for the vine
As we often say, the harvest is the fruit of a year's work in the vineyard. It is on this basis that we wish to give a line of conduct to our vineyard. Clearly, when we want to produce a great wine, we are convinced that we must have a taste for working the vineyard, respecting the different terroirs that make up the vineyard. We work in communion with nature by taking into account the vegetative rhythm of the vine and the biodiversity that we develop and maintain day after day. This is also the reason why we rely on a certified biodynamic approach, respecting the lunar calendar. And the famous common sense of a farmer accompanies us every day.
We do not use any chemical inputs or weed killers. To protect the vines, we favour natural plants. We use selective soil management, depending on the terroir and the grape varieties. We always try to protect the life of the soil. Depending on the parcels, we work the inter-rows as little as possible in order to encourage environmental biodiversity and to use the fauna and flora as crop aids.
Our short pruning method respects the flow of sap. On our plots, the disbudding is very meticulous and includes the internodes. Depending on the plots, trimming is rare and late, and is even replaced by braiding the shoots on the last wire. We are gradually introducing animals into the vineyards. One plot is worked with horses and we would like to use sheep to mow the grass in autumn and winter, while enriching the soil with organic matter.
This policy does not prevent us from having doubts. As the causes of the quality of a vintage are multifactorial, we are convinced that each harvest will always give us surprises that we will have to apprehend on a case by case basis. In this context, we often rely on the "skills club" of Biodyvin's member winemakers, who are convinced that the exchange of experiences helps us to grow.

Passion for terroir wines
Our greatest emotion when tasting is linked to four factors that we believe are essential: the nose, the "touch of the mouth", the precision and the energy that emanates from the wine. To do this, we want to protect the juice as much as possible. We favour gravity racking to avoid pumping. We also strive for long maturation in order to share wines that are ready to drink.
In accordance with our biodynamic specifications, we do not use any inputs in the cellar, in line with our work in the vineyard. On the parcels, we are uncompromising when it comes to harvesting, by hand of course.
For the whites, the first selection is made on the vine. Then, we use mini openwork trays of only 8/10 kg to feed the press with firm grapes and without juice. The pressings are done at low pressure in order to extract only the heart of the grapes. After the settling operations, the juices are racked into their maturing containers which participate in the micro-oxygenation (barrique, concrete egg and amphora) for a period of 2 years (except for the Grand Vau cuvée).
The same care is taken with the reds. The bunches of grapes with heterogeneous veraison will be removed before harvesting in order to favour the ripening of the most homogeneous grapes, therefore more qualitative. Depending on the soils and grape varieties, we may or may not carry out cold maceration, with or without whole bunches, in order to restore freshness and greedy fruitiness.
Working with our indigenous yeasts is a stressful exercise for us but beneficial for the wine. No sulphiting is used on the harvest or during the maturing process in order to respect the fruit and the substance of the juice.
To protect the fruit of our long work, we use very low doses of sulphite at bottling if necessary. Whenever possible, we finish the maturing process in the bottle for at least half of the time spent in the cellar. With this in mind, a plot-based cuvée is released approximately 3 years after harvest.

In conclusion, we are certain that our respect for the vines and the winemaking process will be a unique source of emotion when tasting each of our cuvées. Each time we finish a bottling, we are convinced that we have done our best. This is already a great satisfaction.

The vineyard

The domaine's vines in Anjou

The domaine is rather well diversified geographically and is structured around « seven different terroirs » :

This diversification makes it possible to distribute the climatic hazards but also to multiply the mineral expressions of the geological characteristics of each of these seven parcels.

The domaine's vines in Anjou
Les parcelles

Bigottière

Geology

Green sandstone shale, sometimes with purple passages and often with schools of phthanites.

Grape varieties

Chenin.

Our vintages

Visual of the vintage Bigottière

The vineyard, with a surface area of about thirty hectares, is located in the part of the Anjou Noir region of the Loire Valley, south of Angers. Unlike the Saumur region known as the white Anjou and characterized by its limestone soils which correspond to the Parisian basin, the Anjou noir with its dark rocks (schists, gneiss, rhyolites and granite), corresponds to the Armorican massif. And it is precisely this characteristic that gives wines a pronounced and unique character. The Anjou noir is a shale land. Fabrice Redois, geologist, lecturer at the UFR Sciences, University of Angers, explains that the Anjou Noir is « a geological unit composed mainly of rocks that have been subjected to constraints (folds, faults, magmatic intrusions, metamorphism) related to orogenesis (mountain range formation) ».

On the wine-growing soils of the Anjou Noir, there is therefore a predominance of schists (sandstone to sandstone schists, purple schist sometimes sandstone, green-grey schist...), but also different volcanic rocks (rhyolites, spilites, phtanites,...). In 50 metres, you can travel a million years ! The diversity of the terroirs is also due to surface formations, such as wind sands or colluvium. To this can be added the influence of the Loire and its tributaries, the presence of hillsides in Anjou which are found to be adapted to the cultivation of vines, as well as the angevin microclimate - this is not a legend since it records one of the lowest rainfall rates in the Loire Valley.

Thus, the king of Angevin grape variety, chenin, feels very comfortable on the terroirs of the Anjou Noir. We have everything we need to have quality wines : the suitability of the grape variety and the soil between the chenin and the schist, the limited yields, the quality monitoring... Organic wines are not in the standard of varietal wines, we are on wines from the soil. These are lands that warm up easily, From a micro-climatic point of view, they are particularly suitable for a good maturity of Chenin, which is a late variety. The schist brings something special to the mouth, a unique style.

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Contact

You can contact us
by phone +33 2 41 78 72 13
or email us : bienvenue@terravitavinum.fr

Come and visit us
Terra Vita Vinum
Chauvigné, route de Denée
49610 Mozé-sur-Louet

Tasting and direct sales at the domaine
From monday to friday
9am - 12pm and 2.30pm - 6.30pm
On saturday
9am - 12pm and 2.30pm - 6.30pm
Exceptional Closing
- Saturday, June 4th, 2022

Please fill in the telephone number with its country code (e.g. +44 for UK).