One of the greatest “Treasures of France” for me are it’s wines. Particularly the ones that are’nt household names. Wines lovingly nurtured and created by independent “vignerons.” Wines that truly reflect their origin. Without oak chips and other post harvest “enhancements.”

Not Gonna Go There

High profile “in- every- wine magazine/lauded by International critics” wines are’nt interesting for me. Not because of their quality. But because there’s no discovery there! No adventure! Nothing new! Ah – but finding an unknown and/or/little publicized wine is definitely this “wine pirates’ ” treasure.

The Real Deal

Most times I’ve discovered, and I think you will too, these winemakers are families. Inheritors of a proud tradition. Their wines, as their lives, part of and influenced by the history and culture of their “terroir.” Their occupation first a passion, and second, a business.

Two “Real Dealers”

One family of winemakers who fit this description to a “T”( actually that should really be a “W” – n’est ce pas?) are Jean Tatin and his partner Chantal Wilk. Their “vignoble” – “Domaines-Tatin” is in the Quincy(pro –“kan-see”) appellation of the Cher/Berry region. The closest town being Verizon, 10 kms. away.

Not just Red n’ White

Here, from two main vineyards, “Le Ballendors”, maintained by Chantal, and Le Tremblay”, Jean’s contribution, the Tatin-Wilks produce a wide variety of white, rose and red wines. The main grape in the Quincy is Sauvignon. What North Americans call “Sauvignon Blanc.” This same white wine grape is referred to as “Fume Blanc” a scant 60 kms east of Domaines Tatin in the Loire’s Pouilly(that’s “poo-ee”) appellation.

Their red wine, a pinot noir, is from the Reuilly(pro – “roo-ee”) appellation, just “next door.” Jean and Chantal also produce a Pinot Gris(great with curries!) a very unique rose, and several variations on the “Sauvignon Theme.”

Words like… know…….fail me?

If it’s true that “one picture is worth a thousand words”(and, I think so), then a video should be worth at least….er….ten thousand? In any case, no video can every hope to convey the atmosphere, excitement, and camaraderie of a French Wine harvest. (“Le Vendange”) But, hey, it’s  the next best thing to bein’ there –right? So check out this “vendange” at Domaines-Tatin.

Connect with Jean and Chantal at :