Alexandre Giquel is a winegrower on the banks of the Loire and is one of its brightest new organic wine talents.
Alexandre is a Loire native who has dedicated time to learning from organic growers and understanding the region. Passionate about working with the soil, he is one of the few winemakers in the Loire region to farm and work his soils with horse and plough rather than tractors.
His project was brought to life in stages, starting with his négoce wine called “Huit Launay” in 2017. He took on a vineyard in 2018 that, according to the farmer who gave him the land, was difficult to manage with a tractor. His estate has since grown to reach 3.15 hectare. Today, his range includes two Chenin Blancs from the Vouvray appellation, as well as a Gamay cuvée called Maluseaux.
After learning about the different ways to manage vineyards and vinify wines through several internships, Alexandre decided to pave his own way using organic/biodynamic farming practices and minimal intervention in the cellar.
"I didn't like working with chemicals in the vineyard, and I also didn't like the technological way in the cellar. But at the same time, it's important to learn those methods, in order to understand what you like, and what you don't like."
During this point in time, Alexandre met fellow vigneron Philippe Chigard of La Table Rouge, who is renowned for his knowledge about horses. Philippe soon became a mentor and close friend, and Alexandre’s horse grazes together with Philippe’s herd of Bretons, Comtois and Percherons.
All of Alexandre's vines are planted on clay with silex, a subsoil of Tuffeau. They are at least 20 years old and he even has a few Chenin plots in Vouvray averaging over 90 years old.
Alexandre has a particular love for Gamay. His Gamay vines were planted in 1967, and represent a massal selection (meaning when the vines were grafted they came from several different mother plants, as opposed to just one clone), which he stresses is vital for Gamay, as there are some hyper-productive clones that produce wines that are too acidic. Given that he works as naturally as possible, he doesn’t chaptalize (the practice of adding sugar to the fermenting wine to raise the alcohol), so the initial balance in the fruit needs to be spot on.