HENRY MARIONNET, Soings Organic
Henry Marionnet is passionate about traditional and natural methods, he is generally considered to be the best producer of Gamay in the Loire. By picking late and discarding green grapes he achieves maximum ripeness which translates into fleshy and sweetly-fruited wines. His estate is located near the village of Soings, nestled deep in the forest of Sologne. Around Soings, the terroir is very varied, but the soils around Charmoise are predominantly fine sand, flint and clay, peppered with fossilised shells in places.
Just behind the Marionnet residence is the highest peak between the Cher and the Loire, which is characterised by these soils mixed with large, heavy stones. The climate is
favourable, there are occasional hailstorms but the vines are otherwise quite well protected from frost.
Provignage is the name given to the technique used originally to propagate the vines, by layering a branch and covering it with soil. In 1998, a winegrower living nearby, sold his 4-ha vineyard to Marionnet, of which, a 0.36 ha parcel was meant to be “very old”. The expertise proved that the vines were Romorantin and were in fact planted around 1850, prior to the Phylloxera that swept through France in 1870.
The wine is living history. This golden wine brings to mind apples, pears and white flowers, but also dried fruits, minerals and honey. The combined length, richness and complexity is fabulous – it is difficult to imagine this originates in the Loire and comes from vines planted by people who were born whilst Napoleon was ruling France.