Domaine Ricard Touraine
The vineyards lie on southern facing slopes, with nearly fifteen hectares planted in Sauvignon Blanc, along with a bit of Gamay, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, and Cot (Malbec). Vincent lets grass grow between his rows of vines instead of removing it with herbicide. No pesticides are used to combat insects. Vines are replaced using the shoots of neighboring vines. Pruning and occasional de-budding helps to limit yields.
Vincent has expanded his cave, once a simple, small space built into the side of a hill that's now a rather modern winery (although still built into the same side of the hill and attached to the old cave). The majority of his production is white, and most of that is split between three dry Sauvignon Blanc cuvées.
He also makes a couple of sweet wines, as well as a couple of solid red wines. Nearly three-quarters of his production is exported, and his wines have been praised by the international press. Like many other young producers in the Loire, he has chosen modern labels for his wines based on canvases painted by a friend, all of which are on display in his small but modern tasting room.
Ricard's wines are all about balance: The fruit is always lifted by just the right amount of acidity, and his wines never come across as being heavy. They are, however, precise with their fruit and defined on their finish, and are amazing values to boot!
The P'tit Villain Rouge canvas and label