La Grange aux Belles


Loire Valley

La Grange aux Belles has grown to a 22 hectare estate, with organic vineyards spread over 5 communes in the AOC Coteaux de l'Aubance. Marc Houtin created the domaine back in 2004. In the beginning, he began searching for vineyards in the Languedoc, but then came back to the Loire, and purchased 9.5 hectares from a grower who was about to retire. The previous owner had been farming conventionally, and selling all the grapes to a local co-op. Marc continued to sell some grapes to the co-op, but also began making his own wine.

In 2007, Marc was joined by Julien Bresteau. It was then that the pair began to convert the vineyards to organic. They worked tirelessly over the years to improve soil health, and also replanted many vines within the vineyards. They slowly purchased more plots, in and around Anjou. A few years ago, Gérald Peau (Jesse) joined them. And in 2022, Julien moved on to another project – and so now it is Marc, Jesse, and a few full time employees.

They farm many varieties – all organic. The subsoils are mainly made of schist, with some silt and clay on top. Water stress is essential, and there is little rain here, the vines work hard! They use herbal infusions such as nettles, horsetail and buckthorn and put low doses of compost on the soil at the end of winter to relaunch the microbial activity. The grapes are vinified with their natural yeasts and no additives are used, except for a small amount of SO2 before bottling (sometimes no SO2 at all).

La Grange aux Belles