Vins de Pays Charentaise
Benefitting from its favourable climate and geographical location, Poitou-Charentes boasts a rich and proud vini- and viticulture stretching back to Roman times.
The region offers a number of renowned grape varieties – including Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Gamay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc. It also offers several intriguing autochthonous sorts, such as the Pineau d’Aunis and Grolleau, both of which make excellent rosés; the former with a slighty peppery flavour; the latter with more traditional strawberry hues.
In close proximity to Villemorin, we recommend exploring the Vins de Pays Charentaise – wines from the Charente and Charente-Maritime – which are light-bodied and harmonious wines. Further information can be found through the following website.
With roughly 90 registered wine producers in Poitou-Charentes, there is a host of other vineyards that the wine connoisseur can explore within a two and half hour radius of Villemorin, particularly:
- Vins du Haut-Poitou - just north of Poitiers, about an hour and a half from Villemorin, located in the departments of Vienne and Deux-Sèvres – from the 2011 harvest onwards, Haut-Poitou has enjoyed its own appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) - "controlled designation of origin” - in recognition of the quality of its wines and the substantial improvements that have been realised in the past twenty years.
- Vins de Thouarsais - centred around Thouars, roughly two hours from Villemorin, located in Deux-Sèvres – comprised of just 15 communes, its Vin Délimité de Qualité Supérieure (VDQS) labelled wines are of excellent quality, particularly Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Gamay.
- Vins de Saumur - just south of Saumur, about two and half hours north of Villemorin, located in the Vienne department – another famous AOC with a proud history dating back to the Twelfth Century, when Henry Count of Anjou became King Henry II of England.
From Villemorin you are also well-placed to explore some of France’s most famous wine regions – particularly the vineyards of Saint Emillion.
We also encourage our guests to explore some of the lesser well-known producers. There are a number of smaller distillery shops in our region, the closest being the Domaine du Grand Lopin, only four miles away (head into Contré, continue through the village and take the D265 left before you drop down the hill towards the Eglise - continue out of town and until the end of the road where you will see the Domaine directly ahead of you).
The Grand Lopin has been a family run business since 1850, now in their 5th and 6th generations. They have the rather splendid motto "let's do everything ourselves - so we'll take the blame as well as the compliments". They handle the entire process themselves, from harvesting through vinification/distillation to bottling and marketing! They have a small shop open on Monday, Tuesday Thursday and Fridays, 9:00 to noon and 14:00 to 18:00, selling a range of still and sparking wines, liquers and cognacs. Guided visits are also available - they seek a minum of five people but you can always ask! You can also buy their products at the Intermarché in Aulnay.