To put a face on a bottle of wine—to meet the vigneron, walk his vineyard and taste his wines out of the barrel—is one of the most meaningful experiences a wine lover can have. In Vignerons d’Anjou, Gueules de Vignerons, Jean-Yves Bardin, an art photographer, brilliantly manages to take us to the heart of the Loire Valley, specifically into the universe of a group of winemakers who are writing a new page for Anjou wines and terroirs. The 43 gueules (faces) he profiles are celebrated for their dedication and commitment to low intervention farming, may it be organic, biodynamic or natural, with 50 hectares or only a couple of acres. He includes iconic figures such as Olivier Cousin, Mark Angeli, Nicolas Joly and Charly and Nady Foucault, as well as some who are lesser-known but just as significant (Jacques and Agnes Carroget, Sebastien Dervieux, Didier Chaffardon) and the new generation—people like Benoît Courault, Sylvain Dittiere and Mai and Kenji Hodgson, to name a few. Bardin’s raw photographs perfectly translate the deeply honest style of these vignerons, while Patrick Rigourd’s concise text gives a vivid taste of their wines and introduces their backgrounds. Even though the book is only available in French for now, these portraits are as intense and powerful as words. To be consumed without moderation.
Reviewed in W&S April 2015.