DOMAINE DE LA PIFFAUDIERE
Olivier Bellanger grew up in Monthou sur Cher, a scant hour east of Tours in the center Loire. He obtained his agricultural diploma in 2000, and spent the next 8 years working for various domaines in the Loire, notably Philippe Tessier. In 2008 he got the opportunity to buy 6 hectares of vineyards in Thesée near his native village. He immediately converted them to organic farming.
The land was affordable partly because there were no associated buildings, so it was only later that he secured a cellar. He vinifies in a friend’s winery where he rents space. He now farms about 10 hectares, and sells some fruit to other wineries to keep his cash flow reasonable. He is committed to local grapes and deplores the regulations that reward ripping up old vine native varieties that are not in fashion, or not allowed in the regional appellation.
His own wines of course are a real labor of love. He’s still fine-tuning his blends and adapting to vintage conditions. The results are always exciting and convincing. And delicious.