From Chinon to Sancerre via Touraine and along the Loire, nearly two-thirds of the tourist wineries here are already committed to an environmentally-friendly approach or are converts to organic farming. And the authentic nature of the products, together with their local origins, are now guaranteed by the regional food label: « Produit en région © du Centre ».
Not far from Château de Chenonceau, Mathilde Sauvète and her family produce organic wines: AOC Touraine Chenonceaux, Touraine and Crémant de Loire. As authentic as they are surprising, these wines reflect the terroir where they are grown. Domaine Sauvète opens its doors to inquisitive visitors keen to discover the métier of winegrower on a treasure hunt and other unusual walks surrounded by the estate’s vines, including by Segway.
Further to the east, in the Berry, Chantal Wilk and Jean Tatin (joined by their daughter Maroussia in 2010) grow vines sustainably on the Domaines Tatin family estate. Their wines – AOC Quincy (exclusively white) and AOC Reuilly – retain all their historical, cultural and qualitative dimensions. A natural sparkling wine rounds off the range to accompany the celebrated Tarte Tatin, which is native to neighbouring Sologne. To soak up the atmosphere, nothing beats a food and wine tasting prepared by the chef alongside a peaceful stay in the estate's stables: dating from the 18th century, they have now been refurbished as a gîte.
Near Chinon and Château d'Azay-le-Rideau, Nicolas Paget’s vines are grown organically. Driven by his passion and convictions, this staunch champion of nature produces his own cuvées with three appellations: AOC Chinon and AOC Touraine in red, and AOC Touraine Azay-le-Rideau in white and rosé. And there’s no shortage of activities at Domaine Paget: a picturesque picnic in the vineyards, a tasting meal with local products… or – even more of surprise – a pulsating outdoor escape game!
Very close to the Château de Menetou-Salon – and to the north of Bourges – Pierre-Emile Fraiseau pampers his vines before bottling his AOC Menetou-Salon whites, reds and rosés with great respect for the terroir. Pierre-Emile works the soil of his nine-hectare vineyard by hand, continuing the family tradition in a manner that is both natural and full of quality. To the great delight of visitors, Pierre-Emile’s parents own a gîte and guest rooms in a 19th century building erected in the heart of Domaine Fraiseau Leclerc.
Near the châteaux at Cheverny and Chambord, south of Blois, Domaine de la Porte Dorée (formerly Domaine de Montcy) has been farmed organically since 2009 and biodynamically since 2016. The vineyard is open to visitors, who can explore the cycle and work that goes into producing organic vines. They can then make their way to a room with contemporary architecture to taste the AOC Cheverny wines and the estate’s products, including succulent organic jams made on site from varietal grapes. For a complete experience, a wooden chalet with a terrace or a very comfortable barrel awaits visitors looking for an unusual night or longer stay amidst the vines!
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