Based at La Grille in Chinon, wine brokers Charles and Philippa Sydney have spent the last 20 years working with vignerons across the length and breadth of the Loire Valley. They (well, we!) have teamed up with the leading wine makers of each of the main ‘Loire’ regions to create a unique range of characterful wines that offer choice, quality and consistency: La Grille - The Classic Loire
You'll find info on the growers and their wines on the next page - and loads of photos and info on the region and on the vintage too.
We like to ring the changes a little, 'swapping' appellations, so the St Pourçain Pinots are now released at 'Vins de France', creating new cuvées like Pierre Lieubeau's Single Estate Muscadet and introducing new winemakers, so you'll see a super Sancerre from Fabrice Robineau now entering the range.
Why? The Loire made easy...
With something over 100 appellations and several thousand producers, the Loire Valley is complicated enough for the 'experts' - and it's a veritable minefield for the average wine drinker.
So where do you start? We've created the La Grille Classic Loire range to offer a fun and tasty way to discover the real classics of the region.
We're working with key winemakers along the river, getting them to make really lovely wines that show just how good the Loire can be at prices that won't make your bank manager scream.
To simplify things even further, where the appellation's well known (Vouvray, Muscadet, Sancerre...), then we've put that nice and big on the label, but where it's the grape variety that dominates (Sauvignon, Chenin, Pinot Noir) then we've majored on that.
The Loire made easy...
Where? In the vineyard (of course!)
The fun bit of winemaking is in the winery - the 'chai' as we say in France. The Loire's climate is what they call 'marginal' - making for beautifully balanced wines with real fruit and freshness, if you do things right.
The hard bit is getting ripe, healthy grapes and the real work is in the vineyard. We complicate things further by asking our producers to use sustainable vineyard methods.
The environment-friendly techniques of sustainable viticulture - 'Lutte Raisonnée' in French - are simple : if there is a problem in the vineyards, to treat that problem with the most effective and least damaging product available. Sometimes this is an organic product, sometimes it is man-made.
The aims are simple too : to respect the long term health of the land and of the vineyard worker and to make great wines with healthy grapes.