A day in the vines: The iDealwine team on the banks of the Loire

The iDealwine team with the Joly family

 Last week, all the members of the team, including those from Hong Kong, Beaune, Singapore and Bordeaux, met in Paris to celebrate the past year and to recharge their batteries. On Friday 7 July, everyone got up very early to be at the meeting point in the south of Paris on time to board a bus and travel to an unknown destination. Through this blog post, we’ll take you with us so that you can discover this day out that was full of flavours, laughter … and splashes of water.

First stop: La Coulée de Serrant where the love of nature runs supreme

Among the sleepy faces of the waking capital, you would have been able to spot those belonging to the iDealwine team, alert in spite of the early start, rushing to identify and get on the correct bus. It was in everyone’s interest to arrive on time, otherwise they’d face the wrath of our beloved organisers, Elsa Ginestet, Constance Foussard and Laure Bouzereau.

After a few hours in the bus, during which a few people closed their eyes to catch up on missed sleep, the team saw the beautiful landscapes of the Loire flashing past the windows. Whispers could be heard around the bus, trying to guess where the first port of call could be.  It didn’t take long for some to get the correct destination and soon the team was stretching their legs as they walked through the gates of Clos de la Coulée de Serrant, a legendary property in the Loire, consisting of seven hectares which are carefully cared for by Virginie and Vincent Joly alongside their father Nicolas.

The Loire landcsape from the Joly vineyard

Under the clear blue sky, Nicolas Joly, a renowned winemaker and pioneer of the biodynamic approach to winemaking, passionately told us all about how he tends his vines that grow in vineyards which have been used for nearly 900 years. Everyone was hanging off his every word, excited to find out more about this fascinating philosophy. Entirely devoted to understanding nature and the interaction between the elements, the Joly family exposed us to a vinification approach like no other where the work of humans is carried out in harmony with the surrounding environment. It’s such a unique approach that we have decided to write a separate article about it so we can share everything that we learnt on Friday.

The iDealwine team listening to Nicolas Joly

Once our minds were full of the different ways you can care for vines using natural products, Virginie and Vincent Joly were kind enough to treat us to a beautiful glass of wine.  We moved over to a table in the middle of an ally of cypress overlooking some of the domain’s vines and the valley below. In the shade of the trees, for it was a really hot day, discussions about the vineyard and the future of wine continued as we samples the 2021 vintage of the domain’s flagship wine, the famous Savennières Clos de la Coulée de Serrant. Tasting this incredibly vibrant wine with its complex aromas of honey, flowers and citrus fruit zest and a texture that coats the palate in these beautiful surrounds in the company of our hosts is something that nobody will forget.

The Joly family and their wine

To round off the first part of the day, the team gathered for an indoor picnic in a room in the old monastery that is tucked away in a corner of the grounds. Our hosts had beautifully decorated the room and arranged a few delicious bottles for us to try. There was the domain’s Savennières Les Vieux Clos as well as the natural sparkling wine Ze Bulle produced by Bruno Ciofi, a delicate sparking rosé with plenty of flavours, and bottles of apple juice from the domain’s orchards. Sandwiches, charcuterie, sweet treats and coffee gave us the energy we needed for the next part of the day.

Les Vieux Clos by the Joly family

Travelling down the Loire in a canoe – the ideal way to discover the region

What would the Loire be without, well, the Loire? To answer this question, the iDealwine team set out in their canoes to discover in greater depth – quite literally for some – the riches and surprises of France’s longest river.

While some were quite happy to glide along, others were more competitive, racing to our end destination. Then there were those who had to use all their power to keep the canoe in a straight line (with some zigzagging in between). 

By some miracle, everyone arrived at the end point safe and sound. We could then celebrate our boating feat with a refreshing drink on the banks of the Loire.

The iDealwine team ready to go canoeing

All too soon, it was time to get back on the bus to return to Paris. The start of the journey back was quiet as many had a nap after the exertion of the afternoon. Once everyone had a regained some energy, we got to know each other better by guessing which anecdote belong to whom.

Before too long, we were back in France’s capital. The day seemed to pass quickly but that doesn’t make it any less memorable. This article also gives us another chance to thank the Joly family for the warm welcome to their vineyard in such a picturesque place. The day out has given the team plenty of energy for the second half of the year. And what is more, there’s only 365 days until our next adventure. 

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