The domaine has been in the ownership of the Pinon family since 1786, with the last seven generations of the family progressively increasing their holdings. François Pinon took over in 1987, and the estate is now in the hands of his son Julien.
Right from the start, François applied ecologically friendly practices to their vineyards in the Vallée de Cousse, one of Vouvray's best sites planted on the excellent and rare rootstock Riparia-Gloire. The soil is clay and silica on a base of limestone with a good proportion of flint and is renowned for producing wines of distinction and long ageing potential – some of their old vintages of Moelleux or Liquoreux are of incredibly high quality.
In 2016, the domaine lost around 90% of its crop due to severe spring frost and therefore assembled the few barrels to release one wine called ‘Le 2016’. For this ‘sec tendre’ cuvée from 45/50yo hillside vineyards, the Pinons blended their three normal cuvées into one. It is made by arresting the alcoholic fermentation by reducing the temperature down to 1 to 2˚C for two weeks. This leaves 14g/l of unfermented sugars though the beauty of this wine is that its harmony is such that you don’t notice the sugars at all.
'This has a pale golden, nose of candied apricots, honey, ginger spice, saffron, and the characteristic wet wool for Loire Chenin Blanc; Off-dry on the palate, but balanced with high acidity this has bruised red apple, apple tart, quince jelly, caramell, honey, saffron and ginger spice. A delicate and well-balanced wine that lingers on the palate. Match with soft cheeses or light apple desserts - will be a delight' Anja Breit, Philglas & Swiggot