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Terre de l'Elu

Formerly called Clos d’Élu, but they had to drop their "Clos" and rename it "Terre" when they made the difficult decision to leave their appellation to continue their path of low intervention winemaking. With old vines of the indigenous Loire varieties, they make thrilling natural wines aged in barrels and amphorae.

Header photo and amphora photo by Leigh-Ann Beverley

"When you fall in love with a terroir, you want the story to come through in the wines. If you want to let the terroir speak, then you can’t add anything to the wine… you just can’t."

People:  Charlotte et Thomas Carsin

Place:  Anjou, Loire, France

Varieties:  Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Franc, Gamay, Grolleau Noir and Grolleau Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pineau d’Aunis

Hectares:  20 

Farming:  Organic with elements of biodynamics

Wines: Click here

Did You Know? They are fortunate to have some very old vines; some of which are celebrating their 80th birthdays. They're also fortunate to have some old vine examples of varieties such as Pineau d'Aunis, which are sadly a rarity these days, as many of the older vines were removed in the 70s and 80s and replaced by clonal Cabernet Franc (which was easier to sell and higher yielding). As such, their Pineau d'Aunis is a real gem.

They work with organics as the baseline, taking inspiration from biodynamic notions. Thomas’ experience at other domaines set them up in good stead, and Charlotte was further inspired by biodynamics, saying,

“We practiced it for three years; I wanted to give it a go, as I don't have a background in agriculture and I found it very poetic. It requires a lot of intuition to work this way, and I thought it was a beautiful way of growing.” 

However, they soon discovered that a large part of biodynamic agriculture is rooted in spirituality, and that was less their cup of tea:

"We’ve done a lot of research to learn more about the foundations of biodynamics (because it’s a philosophy), and what we learned is that it’s a much more spiritual way of growing than necessarily agricultural. We didn’t want to go into a spiritual direction, so we decided to stop the 501, but we still use a lot of different plants."

Plant and herb extracts are an integral part of their viticultural process; infusions, decoctions, manure, essential oils; and always have been, even before they began trialling biodynamics. The goal is to promote biodiversity and to help the vines, taking inspiration from permaculture and agroforestry.

"Thomas decided to try using an amphora, having tried some wines aged in amphorae at a wine fair – especially from Italian winemakers. In 2010, we had bought four amphorae. For the first test, however...

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