Guide to the Loire regions

Orléans and Orléans-Cléry

Grower Profiles

Valérie Deneufbourg

The Deneufbourgs are new to wine, having arrived in the region, complete with their five children, in 2005. Husband Christophe hold down a job as a full time agronomist based in Paris, commuting there daily. The running of the domaine is very much the responsibilty of Valérie, who before embarking on the career of a vigneron studied viticulture in Pessac-Léognan.

Wine Overview :
Valérie owns no vines, electing instead to rent from eight different retired growers, all of whom were members at the co-operative. The legacy of these rental agreements means that she is obliged to deliver the equivalent of 5 hectares of grapes there, although half of this fruit is Gamay which goes for Vin de Pays. This leaves her free to concentrate on the wines for the appellation Orléans, and although she does work 1.3ha of Cabernet Franc, she doesn’t consider this to be viable as yet to produce her own Orléans-Cléry. The vineyards are in four different communes, but are all within 5 kilometres of the cellar. The red grapes are all machine harvested, but she prefers to hand pick the Chardonnay.

She operates in an open wooden barn in a side street in the village. The previous owner, a furniture maker, worked out of here, and it was a relatively simple operation to install a few stainless steel and fibre glass tanks. Below the house is a 500 year old vaulted cellar which is used for storage.

The Wines :
The wines are marketed under the Rencontres label, meaning ‘meeting’ or ‘conviviality’. The first three vintages of Orléans blanc produced so far show this is work in progress, although the wines display an emerging Chablis-esque style, on the basis that they are quite chalky and mineral and do not see any malo-lactic fermentation. The first three examples of Orléans rouge, made from around 80% Pinot Meunier and passed through old oak for a couple of months, show some variable quality, but at best are charmingly rustic and pretty. I expect to see better wines emerging in future as she settles into her stride.

Valérie Deneufbourg
28 Rue du Village
T : + 33 2 38 45 97 53
P : + 33 6 14 57 37 61
F : + 33 2 38 45 72 04


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