This morning the end of September, the grape harvest is finished at the Farm of the Sansonnière, Bellevigne-in-Layon, in the Loire valley. All the grapes have been returned by glorious weather : the vineyard of Mark Angeli, who has created this field in 1989, is satisfied. It is better than the two-year freeze that he has just undergone. However, this vintage year 2018 does not offer a lot of wine : just 10 hectolitres per hectare. The mildew was a result of a harvest more abundant. “You have to take the hard knocks in this business,” admits he, as a philosopher. the
Recognized at the international level, the wines of this producer bear on their labels the reference wine of France and anjou, as they could claim it. Mark Angeli does more than a single specification : the biodynamic. For the rest, he made his revolution. And for a long time. The issue of the appellation for this wine-grower of 60 years, become a fight of substance, and that he has no intention of abandoning. His son Martial, and his partner Bruno Ciofi support it.
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Until 2002, all the wines of Mark Angeli were declared and sold in anjou. However, between 1997 and 2002, its pinkish fluffy was denied accreditation. “I’m always be my wine a second time, which cost me money, to fail in the end. In 2002, I flipped out, and I decided to get out of the AOC to express my anger. In 2006, I released my red wine of this system, and in 2007, my white also. Since then, all my production is vin de France, ” explains Mark Angeli.
” During the first eight years of my installation, I am not paid a salary. So, I know the difficulties at the beginning. “Mark Angeli, winemaker
today, it is not the anger that motivates his fight, but the energy of change. “It is necessary to eradicate the vestiges of a bad know-how in the High-Layon, which are the rule, landed there. I realized that the idea of the AOC, which is awesome to begin with, is completely hackneyed. If we earn the high yields – in the region, it is often to 70 hectolitres per hectare, the use of pesticides and other additions to wine during the wine making process, where are the quality and the expression of a place in the wine ? “Mark Angeli has found its field of action : its vineyards and its domain. It organizes information days for new winemakers arrived in the region. To 15 000 euros per hectare of vines in the area, the adventure attracts a lot of thirty year olds. Each year, not less than thirty néovignerons who come to get information to the Sansonnière. With three or four other growers in the cru, Mark Angeli help to install, to find finance, arrange for the loan of material, and even to help in their distribution channel. He thus creates his small home revolutionary. “For the first eight years of my installation, I am not paid a salary,” he remembers. So, I know the difficulties at the beginning. This is not only generous on my part to help others. The host allows you to increase the reputation of the region. This is the best way to be heard. “
organic wine is gaining momentum
The winemaker persevering advises his young colleagues to declare their production in wine from France so that they can all together take the time to re-establish a specification of an appellation worthy of the name, with as minimum conditions to grow organic and do not produce more than 30 hectolitres per hectare. Mark Angeli is pleased, because of the very old families of the anjou spend to organic cultivation. Hope everything is therefore permitted. “This hurts me in the heart, in the meantime, not to be able to write the name of the place where I work and produce my grapes on the label… “, he says however. View wine of France is for him a stopgap. “The model that makes me dream is Burgundy, whose wines are identified according to their locality. The mention of the Climate (plots burgundy) is much more interesting and more true that an AOC generic, ” he says.
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