This is the whole mystery of terroir.
When people visit the vineyard of Clos des Montys, on the top of Goulaine, it is easy for me to explain- and it can almost be seen with the naked eye- the difference of my two parcels, one which has more clay and the other more stones. Therefore, before speaking about terroir, it is necessary to explain certain things and study a little geology because, in this case, I am facing two parcels, in the same place, which are going to give me, without much intervention on my part, two totally different expressions. I complicate even further the information when, in the stony vineyard I decide to isolate about one hectare planted in very old vines (1914).
We see that under the word « terroir », there is a base formed of the soil, subsoil, surroundings, the climate which is a strong influence due to our proximity to the ocean and the Loire.
But without being pretentious, that is not enough. The intelligence of the wine grower, from generation to generation, his sense of observation, the endless walks he will take in « his » terroirs, the maintenance and the total respect for the microbic life of the soil (which excludes the use of chemicals), hand-harvesting, the age of the vine, the way it has been looked after, its replacement after its death, all things to maintain the integrity of the location, there are a multitude of parameters which contribute to the notion of terroir. This is how I was able to locate, with the complicity of my father, my most beautiful parcels, located in the zones of Château-Thébaud and Clisson. All the meaning of the fundamental work of a vigneron, wherever he might be, lies in this inclination.
To observe and to act with reflection and clear-headedness in order to vinify a complex and interesting wine: a living wine.
Then, in this case, the wine grower can say, not without pride, that he is helping to maintain a historical viticultural heritage in wine. And that, at the same time, he has the best job in the world!