winemaker : Richard Leroy
Region: Loire Valley
City: Rablay sur Layon
Grape varieties : chenin
Surface Winery: 3 ha
Annual production: 5.000
Wines from this Winery are in great demand and currently out of stock. Take the opportunity to discover other wines!
Richard Leroy's wines
The wines of Richard Leroy, in the superb Layon region(Loire Valley), offer the best of their terroir, expressing themselves with class, minerality, salinity and uprightness.
Richard Leroy: a wine lover
After studying economics, Richard Leroy moved to Germany. His wife Sophie ran a shop selling French products, including a few bottles of wine. The future winemaker helps to keep the business going. Everything was going well. Except that Richard wondered what to do next and saw himself going to Paris to discover the tasting clubs. In 1980, he moved there and tasted great wines, foreign wines and more modest Crus with the same curiosity. Tasting became his hobby. He met people, great winegrowing families, mostly from Burgundy. These exchanges lead him to have a crazy desire: to go and look for a Winery to exploit. Not easy, the prices are prohibitive. Until the day when he started researching in the Côteaux du Layon, with the help of a few winegrowers, and went fishing for information to find the best terroirs in the area.
The Loire Valley's choice
Against all odds, his choice fell on parcels located in Rablay-sur-Layon, a little less than 3 hectares divided between two plots: 'Les Noëls de Montbenault', on the top of the hillside overlooking the Layon, is 2 hectares in size, the soil is shallow and full of volcanic rock of the rhyolite type. The soil is shallow and full of rhyolite volcanic rock. It is south-facing and windy, which has the great advantage of drying the grapes throughout the year and thus avoiding disease.
The 'Clos des Rouliers' totals only 0.7 ares and is located at the bottom of the hillside. The soil type is more or less the same but the wind is less present. Richard Leroy feels that these terroirs have nothing to envy the great local appellations and that he will be able to make great natural wines here!
From the start, chemicals were banned, the vines were ploughed and the manual work carried out by the neo-winemaker was colossal. Richard Leroy thought he was producing sweet wines but soon found himself faced with a dilemma regarding sulphur. Wines with residual sugars are almost impossible to produce without added sulphite. He then tested dry Chenin in his garage, which had been converted into a cellar, and it was a real turning point! He selected the best of his vines and year after year, his wines were appreciated. In 2008, Richard Leroy decided to declassify his wines as vins de France, voluntarily leaving the appellation, tired of the endless wars of approvals and administrative authorisations. Three years later, somewhat in spite of himself, winemaker became the star of a (super) comic strip by Etienne Davodeau "Les Ignorants". It was a success. He receives calls from all over the world to buy his natural wines and congratulate him. An episode that was a bit too much for him, but that allowed thousands of people to discover his work, his philosophy and his personality. Discover, when we manage to get a few bottles of Richard Leroy's signature chenin, these wonderful vintages! Your taste buds will thank you... for life.
NB: in view of the (too) small quantities available, Richard LEROY's organic/natural wines are reserved for members of the Club Petites Caves. Thank you for your understanding.