to the Loire regions
steeple - Saint-André-d'Apchon
Thierry Bonneton comes across as being something of a
simpleton, but I am assured that is not the case. He is a native of
Saint-André-d’Apchon, an apchonnais,
apparently, but he is not the son of a vigneron.
His career started with Hubert Mons, the affineur
responsible for the chariot de
fromages at Maison Troisgros, but his ambition was to work the land
and sell his own produce; living in a village that is surrounded by vines
made his decision to become a vigneron
somewhat easy. He created his domaine in 1988, starting with 2.5 hectares
of rented vines, the production of which he quickly sold to local
restaurants. Needing to feed his new family, he increased his vineyard
holdings to ten hectares, including two in the lieu-dit
of Bouthéran. His youngest vines were planted in 2003, but pride goes to
the 90-plus year old gobelet trained Gamay situated on the red gravel
soils on the lower slope of Bouthéran.
The cellar is a purpose built facility in the valley
that dissects the village, close to his house and at the foot of the
famous Bouthéran slope. It appears a large building for what it needs to
accommodate, with the main floor area lined up with concrete tanks. He
makes three different red wines; the inevitable fruité
and a separate ‘Réserve’, but he is one of the four growers who
commercialise the Bouthéran vineyard as a separate bottling.
Despite having some of the most distinguished looking
vines in the appellation, I found the wines a disappointing; hard, tannic,
rustic and lacking any sense of charm.
T: + 33 4 77 65 85 40
F: + 33 4 77 65 94 72