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Loire Valley



Terra Vita Vinum's aims are simple – to build upon the work done by the Richou brothers at Domaine Richou, to convert the domaine from organic to biodynamic farming and to make the finest wines possible with the least intervention. These wines are fantastic - sophisticated, distinctive and delicious.


Based in Anjou in the heart of the Loire Valley, Terra Vita Vinum are producing some of the most remarkable wines we can remember tasting. Their single vineyard wines are fantastically focused, full of energy and life, often made with no additions of any kind. The decision not to use Sulphur is not an easy one- it requires hard work and laboratory-like levels of care in the winery, but when done well the resulting wines can be magnificently expressive and complex, whilst retaining purity of fruit. You won’t taste better than Terra Vita Vinum.
The soils Luc and Bénédicte farm are a geologist’s (and oenophile’s) dream. Hugely complex, often volcanic in origin, they impart a unique character to the wines they produce. Tasting them together is fascinating, and really for me represents why wine is such an endlessly compelling and soulful pursuit. These single vineyard wines are the pinnacle of Bénédicte and Luc’s project. Now fully converted to biodynamic farming, each parcel is given maximum care to emphasise its subtle differences in character and style. In the winery each wine is aged in a specific combination of barrel, foudre, amphora and concrete egg, chosen to best show each site’s unique character. From the racy Grand Vau to the rich, silky Grand Rogeries, or the deep minerality of the Pavillon – each talks in its own distinctive voice, despite their common grape variety and their vineyards relative proximity.
The domaine now consists of 40ha, only 30 of which are planted to vines. The other ten are used to grow wildflowers and other beneficial plants, the better to increase the domaine’s bio-diversity, which in turn will create healthier vineyards. This attitude isn’t a marketing ploy- it is at the heart of the project. Luc and Benedicte are devotees of Jules Guyot, a visionary who wrote in 1860 that “the genius of wine was in the vine”. Only by talking the best care of one’s vines can one expect to make the best wine.

Everything at Terra Vita Vinum is done by hand, with care. Even down to using the smallest possible trays when picking grapes, to ensure no berries are squashed during transport – the attention to detail here is incredible. They are artisans in the best sense of the word, utterly devoted to their craft.
Terra Vita Vinum are clearly destined for greatness. It is exciting offer them today.

Current Vintages

A blend of 80% chenin blanc and 20% chardonnay grown together on Schist. Fermented and aged for six months in stainless steel. Ripe orchard fruit nose, really inviting. Lots of fruit on the palate, ripe acidity and very food friendly. They jokingly call it an homage to French Chef Paul Bocuse, whose insistence on quality and freshness inspired their tastes in both food and wine. It is certainly a versatile wine for the table, but I also enjoyed it nicely chilled on its own.
A cuvee first made in 2017 when frosts drastically reduced yields in some of their sites. They liked the blend so much they have kept it in 2018. 100% Chenin Blanc grown on three sites, Rogeries, Grand Vau and Clos des Gabouchons composed of schists, volcanic rhyolites, and quartz. Fermented and aged in stainless steel for 12 months. Super nose, rich and complex citrus and floral aromas. Well balanced with an interplay between ripe fruit and vibrant acidity, with a cool saline mineral finish. Really impressive.
100% Chenin. Lying on the opposite, north, bank of the Loire, the Bigottière vineyard’s green shale, sandstone and quartz gives a taut, lean wine that seems packed with energy and potential. Less open and expressive than the Rogieres now, it is an impressive, sculptural wine with a great future ahead. Some older oak barrels are used for ageing here, rounding the texture. The Chablis Grand Cru to the Rogieres Meursault perhaps? This wine was open in my fridge for a week – I tasted it over several days and it got better and better, a sign of great potential I feel. A wonderful experience now though, it would be terrific with shellfish.
Red WinesVintage
Another 100% Gamay wine from the same site, but from the oldest vines. This is produced from a higher proportion of whole bunches which have brought a violet perfume and touch of pepper, it is more refined, less meaty than the Châteliers, showing lifted red fruits and layers of mineral and spice. No new oak used during its nine months maturation, bottled with no filtration. Although a more elegant wine than the Châteliers, it would still be happiest with hearty foods, perhaps refined somewhat a la Bocuse!

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