On the banks of the river Layon in the beautiful Loire valley exists one of the world's largest and oldest single wine stocks. Miles of underground cellars contain a rare collection dating back to the 1800's.
Remarkable bottles, - many over a century old - are occasionally uncorked and more often than not the experience is incredible: for the wines are undiminished with the passing of the years - rather, they possess a vitality and elegance that is completely unexpected. These are the sweet Chenin Blanc wines of Moulin Touchais. Since 1787, the Moulin Touchais cellars together with the surrounding vineyards have been owned and managed by eight generations of the Touchais family.
The vineyards are amongst the most famous in the Anjou area.
The methods of viticulture and vinification have changed little over the years and are still based on the traditional values of low-yields, careful harvesting and meticulous winemaking; particularly during pressing and the long fermentation period. The grapes are hand-picked in several stages. In fact one of the secrets of Moulin Touchais' longevity and complexity is this harvesting strategy: 20% of the grapes are picked around 80 days after flowering while the fruit is still under-ripe and loaded with acidity, the other 80% is harvested late (as late as one hundred and twenty days after flowering) generally yielding fruit with very high sugar levels and concentrated flavours. High acidity and high sugar levels ultimately determine Moulin Touchais' opulent style: smooth and elegant. Only the healthiest grapes are chosen; the pips are removed and the must is clarified by decanting before beginning the slow fermentation process which is spread over several weeks. The wine is bottled early; between the end of February and early March following the harvest.