Before May 2014, I wasn’t totally sure what Vouvray was apart from my mom’s favorite wine. Turns out, it’s actually a small town in the Loire Valley and all the wine produced there. It’s an especially nice because it’s easy to pronounce, for a French wine. Voo-vray.
Vouvray is made from Chenin Blanc grapes, so it’s a white wine and sometimes a sparkling wine, and it is yummy. It’s not the most famous wine within France, but it should be because it is delicious enough to make me put down my rosé. If you’d like to know more, I’ll go ahead and direct you to Wikipedia or another reputable source of your choosing, as this is not my particular area of expertise.
If you’re in Vouvray and you’d like to go wine tasting, you should call and make an appointment, especially off-season. Otherwise, busy wine makers will look at you like you are crazy for showing up unannounced, even though their website implies you can. Our lovely hosts at La Bagatelle recommended we check out Domaine Huet, one of the big-wig producers of Vouvray, and it was very nice. My favorite, though, was Domaine Pichot.
So, Domaine Pichot is a family-owned winery in Vouvray (duh) and although they are 100% French, most of their distribution is international, and they’re particularly popular in the United States and Australia. This is the only wine my mother will drink. For the last quarter of a century prior to this discovery, she has been using her olfactories to enjoy wine. That is to say, she wouldn’t have a glass herself, but she’d enjoy smelling other people’s wine, and that was enough for her. I don’t know how she discovered this Vouvray, but my father buys it at Whole Foods by the case for her now. To clarify, he buys a whole case because it’s more practical, not because they are going through bottles at an unseemly rate.
We didn’t come to Vouvray at a particularly convenient time for the Pichots. Monsieur Pichot had some important meetings, and it was his mother’s birthday, and they had to prepare for a dinner. Nevertheless, his lovely wife Caroline took the time to show us around. We saw the big wine barrels, the fancy steel wine equipment, and cases and cases of Vouvray, and she patiently told us all about their family business.
The best part was the tasting because we got to drink a lot of delicious wine. Win! (It was a wine win.) My dad went nuts for the Louis Pichot wine, named after their son. It’s not labelled as a Vouvray because apparently they are only allowed to produce so much annually, but instead of letting good wine go to waste, they just labelled it “Chenin.” Problem solved! Chenin Blanc is the kind of grapes Vouvray is made from, remember? Sometimes winemaking makes my head spin. (Sometimes wine does too.)
Caroline even gifted us a bottle of my mother’s favorite wine. How nice is that?
Have you tried any Vouvray wines? What did you think? Are there any other French wines I should get my hands on immediately?