Domaine de Villargeau is situated in the little-known appellation of Côteaux de Giennois, north of Pouilly-sur-Loire. It is run by the Thibault family who have made great strides towards raising quality and building a new cellar. The soils here are, for the most part, flint, and the majority of vines are sauvignon blanc for whites with smaller amounts of pinot noir and gamay for the reds and rosés.
The vineyards are managed along the lines of lutte raisonnée which is close to organic viticulture except it allows for the limited application of chemical treatments when and where absolutely necessary. Vines are forced to dig deep for nutrients, thanks to the planting of grass between rows. Yields are controlled through systematic thinning of bunches of grapes.
The whites are regular favourites at our Loire tastings and continue to grow in popularity. Crisp and fresh with definite flinty characters, they closely resemble those of nearby Pouilly-Fumé but at much more attractive prices. Most recent additions to our list include an excellent pinot noir rosé and a red, showing just what progress has been made with pinot noir in this region.