Ma Garance Voyageuse, Xavière Hardy
Xavière Hardy is a tough, determined woman who makes amazing juice while leaving as little mark on the land as possible. She hasn’t taken an easy path. There were no vines for miles around her village - La Chapelle-Glain, about 60km north of Nantes. In fact, planting vines there was officially forbidden. That wasn't about to stop Xavière, who refused to be deterred from her dream of a career change after 20 years running her own business. Enlisting the help of Ancenis grower Jacque Caroger, she lobbied the local council, who eventually relented and gave her permission to plant her vineyard. After analysing the terroir she chose Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Grolleau.
Les Terres Bleues is the name – reflecting the blueschist that predominates on her 1.5-hectare plot. Her plants (around 8,000 per hectare) are trained in the Albarello style, common on Mount Etna. With help from family and friends, each vine was individually staked with a whacking great lump of wood. This type of training gives all-day exposure to the sun, very helpful in this northerly location.
Connection to the plant is paramount, so Xavière tends her vines by hand. In the cellar she works very delicately, using no sulphur or filtration. She uses biodynamic treatments and herbal teas made from local flowers and honey instead of copper or sulphur in the vineyard.
Producer Xavière Hardy
Viticulture & Winemaking Biodynamic farming, Demeter and Bio certified. Grapes are hand harvested and go through a 10-day fermentation in vats then aged in barrels for 8 months. No added sulphur.
Region VdF, Loire, France
Tasting Notes Light and perfumed, with distinct red fruit and spice notes. Soft and generous, with little tannins and a smooth fruity palate.