Domaine Jourdan & Pichard, Chinon

Domaine Jourdan & Pichard label

Country & RegionFrance, Cravant-les-Côteaux
ProducerFrancis and Annick Jourdan and Philippe Pichard
FoundedPhilippe is the fifth generation to run the family domain. Francis and Annick joined him in 2012.

F rancis Jourdan has become a sure bet for Chinons thanks to wines that are always comfortable with tannins.
        —Bettane & Desseauve, Guide des Vins 2019

In 2012 Francis and Annick Jourdan left their home in Normandy to start a new life in Chinon. They were cereal farmers and grain brokers with a passion for the vine, so much so that Francis actually tried to get the rights to plant a vineyard near Caen but could not persuade the authorities to let him (he admits that he has two feet in the soil but a head sometimes in the clouds). Consequently, they jumped at the chance to exchange the production of grains for the production of wine when the opportunity came in the form of Philippe Pichard, who was the fifth generation to run his family’s domain in Chinon. But he had no heir, and when the Jourdans offered to buy into the domain as partners, he agreed.

Domaine Jourdan & Pichard family

Pichard went organic in 2000 and received Demeter certification for biodynamic farming in 2010. The Jourdans embraced the philosophy—it was their wish to make wines as naturally as possible—and the only change they made was to add white to the domain’s red by planting one acre of Chenin Blanc. That happened in 2013, and they planted it on a highly regarded hillside known as La Croix Boissée, where Domaine Bernard Baudry has its parcel of Chenin. The slope is particularly dense with limestone and perfect for Chenin.

Today the domain farms 44 acres of vines divided into 20 parcels. Nearly 80% of the vines are within a mile and a quarter of the winery, which lies in the eastern part of the Chinon appellation near the village of Cravant-les-Côteaux. The parcels are predominately on the plain near the Vienne River and extend up to the plateau above Cravant. Their vines grow in gravels as well as in clay and limestone soils. All vines are harvested by hand and all grapes are de-stemmed.

The Wines

Chinon Cuvée Clair de Lune
Chenin BlancTheir one acre of Chenin is planted in 2013 on the limestone hillside of La Croix Boisée climbing up to the plateau above Cravant. Indigenous ferments in older demi-muid barrels, lees stirring, racking and bottling according to the lunar cycle.
Chinon Cuvée Les GravinièresCabernet FrancThe domain’s vin de soif, bottled in spring following the harvest. It comes from the alluvial gravels near the Vienne, 18.5 acres divided among seven parcels of vines averaging 30 years of age. Made and raised in concrete vats.
Chinon Cuvée Varesnes
Cabernet FrancThese vines are further back from the river, growing in heavier soils (more clay) that give more spice and structure to the wine. The vines comprise six acres divided into two parcels, and average 40 years of age. Made and raised in concrete vats.