La Dive Bouteille
Last weekend, I took a trip to the Loire Valley, to Saumur, on the hunt for sincere and authentic winemakers, creators of exceptional wines. Let me take you with me on the search for these winemakers who are passionate about terroir and biodynamics!
So, La Dive Bouteille: what is it?
This unique workshop brings together winemakers from very different terroirs from every corner of France (Champagne, Alsace, Burgundy, Jura, Savoie, Beaujolais, Bordeaux, the Southwest, the Rhône Valley, Languedoc, Provence, Corsica, Roussillon, and of course, the Loire Valley) and the world (Austria, Slovenia, Greece, Italy, Spain, Australia, Georgia, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, and the United States) who have a similar winemaking and viticulture philosophy. Also unique because of its distinctive location, the conference is held in the incredible underground caves of Saumur, offering a one-of-a-kind tasting experience.
This was an opportunity to taste some excellent natural wines, but also to catch up with the winemakers of Phileas Wine Club….
In the space of 10 years, Thierry Germain has elevated the wines of Domaine des Roches Neuves to the peak of Loire Valley wines, thanks to his attentive work in his Cabernet Franc vineyards and the subtle aging in oak that he gives his wines. Cultivated with biodynamic practices, the vines benefit from a remarkable clay-limestone terroir. The last vintages have been marked by a wonderful aromatic purity and refined textures.
The winery of the talented Arianna Occhipinti can be found in the southeast of Sicily, in Fossa di Lupo, to be exact. Young and dynamic, Arianna is also known for her production of olive oils from her 15 hectare olive grove, which is also cultivated under biodynamic practices. Here, the harvest is done exclusively by hand, and the winemaking done in casks or amphoras. Although the climate is dry and hot, Arianna Occhipinti’s wines are nevertheless delicate, fresh, fruity, and well-balanced.
The fundamental principles of Roagna can be summed up in the concept of the forest; a natural environment is the ideal habitat for life. For the family, letting nature take its course is the most obvious way to make wine, and the vines must never be forced. The old vines reign supreme in this winery, where you can still find some non-grafted vines.