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The Muscadet

I spent several days in the Muscadet region, the country of the Melon de Bourgogne grape variety. Tastings, encounters and landscapes were numerous during my visit, but a particular moment remains engraved in my memory, my visit to the Domaine Luneau-Papin.

Domaine Pierre Luneau Papin in Muscadet Sèvre & Maine

Winegrowers in Muscadet Sèvre & Maine, 20 km from Nantes, south of the Loire, Domaine Luneau Papin operates 40 hectares in biodynamics. It's through their work, their know-how, their cuvées that I (re) discovered the Muscadet! Pierre-Marie, whom I came across during my tasting, has partnered with his parents Pierre and Monique Luneau in 2005. They represent, along with his wife Marie, the 7th generation of winegrowers in the family.

Over a certain period The Muscadet suffered from a bad image by the grape variety of (Melon de Bourgogne) and unvalued terroirs; wines perceived as popular, bar wines. But today things are changing and a new generation like that of Pierre-Marie are putting the Muscadet back into the limelight.

In order to change the ideas on the image of Muscadet wines, winegrowers have been able to revalue their terroirs, notably by the vinification by seperate parcels. Luneau Papin was one of the pioneers to work this way, and they now count 7 cuvées parcels, the lastest one having Latin consonants...

Vera Cruz, Muscadet à la Mexicaine!

Vera Cruz, born in 2015, is the name of the place where the parcel is located. It sounds Latin, I was thinking of Spanish origins, I wasn't very far off (well almost) because Vera Cruz comes actually from Mexican... But how on earth at the bottom of the Loire Valley, in the Muscadet, can we find a Mexican imprint in vineyard terroir?!

The story goes that a Mexican sailor stranded on our lands gave the name Vera Cruz to the land.

No Tempranillo or other Latin American grape varieties are found, Vera Cruz is a 100% Melon de Bourgogne. The vines were planted in 1975 on a terroir of micaschist and gneiss in the village of Vallet. They have been cultivated by the Luneau family for generations, but it is only in 2015 they decided to create a cuvée on this parcel, matured on lees and stirred regulary for 10 months.

The label takes its inspiration from the works of the Dutch artist Piet Mondrian. It could make us think of a puzzle, a Rubik's Cube, actually the label represents the plots of vineyards viewed from the sky, with all the geological diversity they embody.

At the table, we make a toast!

To get your mouth watering, and let your inspiration guess what is hiding behind this bottle I've been talking about for a while... some words that characterize it...: Mineral, lemony, iodized, tense and persistent! To be coherent to the end, why not accompany it with a sea bream à la Mexicane, or something more French like fried St Jacques scallops!

I can now only invite you to (re) discover the Muscadet by opening a bottle of Luneau-Papin!


Aphélie from Comme des Français




To know more on the Domaine Pierre Luneau-Papin

To discover in the same oenological theme


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