Thomas PuéchavyLoire, France

We met Thomas in early 2023 at a small fair that our friend Noëlla Morantin was helping to host in Thésée; we were immediately wowed by the varying styles of Chenin Blanc that he poured for us that day. It was clear from the outset that these were special, thoughtfully-made wines, so from an annual production of just 8000 bottles, we feel very fortunate we’ve been able to start working with Thomas and get a small selection over to our railway arch in Leeds.

First up, Thomas is making exactly the kind of taut, electric Chenin that we adore. If you’re a fan of the grape, you’ll know what we mean. He is doing so in the heart of Vouvray, middle-Loire, but, owing to a strange rule of the appellation system (of which there are many) he is not permitted to describe his wines as such. The reason is because his cellar sits a few hundred metres outside of the denominated border of the AOC, in Nazelles, so as the grapes must be taken there to be turned into wine, Vouvray it is not, apparently. Would Thomas work within the appellation if he found another cellar? Most likely not; ‘Vin de France’ allows him the freedom to make wine as he wishes. Plus he really likes his cellar just where it is. But the story fits nicely with his overall ethos, and goes some way to explain why a grower might choose an alternate path.

He farms his 3 hectares organically and the vines vary in age from 20 to 80 years old. Sitting directly between the estates of Vouvray royalty, Domaine Gaston Huet and Clos Naudin, Thomas is something of the underdog. Fortunately, they too have been practicing organic and biodynamic vineyard work for many years now, so they are good neighbours to have. The soils here differ from the majority of the region in that the limestone dominates over clay, contributing to that tightly-wound coil of acid and crystalline orchard fruit that characterises his wine.

In the cellar the grapes are pressed directly into barrels and given as much time as they need before bottling, with no filtration or additions at any stage. The finished wines span the full spectrum, from sparkling, through fresh and dry to oxidative and demi-sec. We have a couple of wonderful cuvées from the 2020 and 2021 vintages to begin, hopefully with more to follow in the future. They are fascinating expressions of the region that have made a big impression on us - we look forward to sharing them with you too, while they last!

Thomas Puéchavy Wines

Thomas Puéchavy
Le Rayon Blanc 2021

Taut, electric Chenin that ticks all the boxes when it comes to what we want from the grape. Perfectly balancing a low-key richness with a lucid clarity, this finely-tuned wine sees crystalline fruits tightly bound with a sinew-y coil of acidity that cuts with phenomenal length. Find out more.

  • Region Vouvray, Loire, france
  • Grapes Chenin Blanc
  • Vineyard Organic
  • Cellar Fermented with native yeasts, unfiltered & unfined, no additional sulphites