15 April 2012

A Chinon winery

One of the places we went to last Wednesday was the Domaine Baudry-Dutour winery in the village of Cravant-les-Coteaux. It's just a few kilometers east of Chinon — Cravant is at the heart of the Chinon vineyards.

Domaine Baudry-Dutour in Cravant-les-Coteaux...

...and a close-up, with the tasting room on the left

Christophe Baudry and Jean-Martin Dutour are the owners of the Domaine. Both have been making wine in Cravant for 20 years or more. Their vineyards are extensive — 115 hectares (more than 250 acres), according to the woman in the tasting room. (In contrast, our neighbors at the Domaine de la Renaudie near Saint-Aignan work 26 hectares (60+ acres) of vines, which makes theirs a large property in our area.)

An old delivery truck in the courtyard at the winery

Chinon, on the west side of Tours, is one of the two prime red wine production areas in Touraine. The other is Bourgueil, just across the Loire River to the north. Both Chinon and Bourgueil specialize in the Cabernet Franc grape, which is the only grape used to make their AOC wines. In our part of Touraine, east of Tours in the Cher River Valley, the AOC red grapes are Cab. Franc along with Côt (Malbec) and Gamay.

Here's the Baudry-Dutour price list.
Notice that wine in a box (a BIB or "bag in box")
is also available — red or rosé.

At Baudry-Dutour, we tasted four red wines, including one from each of the property's vineyards (see map) — Domaine de la Perrière, Domaine du Roncée, Château de la Grille, and Château de Saint-Louans. The wines went from light and thirst-quenching to much more structured, complex styles.

Chinon vineyards at Cravant

Chinon also produces white wines, made with Chenin Blanc grapes. That's the grape of Vouvray and Montlouis, the two most prestigious white wine vineyards in Touraine. Both are on the east side of Tours where, like Chinon and Bourgueil, they face each other across the Loire River. We didn't taste any white wines at Baudry-Dutour on Wednesday.


  1. The variety of wines available in France is baffling.
    It would make a great hobby to understand at least the basics better.
    Maybe I do that.

  2. Is the minimum purchase of 12 bottles normal when buying from the grower? Big outlay on a sip or two.

  3. Lesley, what I understand from the sign is that if you buy 12 bottles you get a discount. I don't know if you have to buy 12 bottles of the same wine, or whether you can mix and match. I'm sure you can buy individual bottles in any quantity you want.

    H. Peter, amen.

  4. As I read your post, sitting on my desk here in Melbourne is an empty bottle of Bernard Baudry from Chinon. Only five weeks before we can partake a sip or five in Chinon.

  5. Ken, you DO know "the basics", that's for sure. Your wine posts are always so helpful and informative and really help break everything down. When one doesn't know anything about wine, a label is just a bunch of words that are on wine labels :))... reading your wine posts really helps break down the whole mystery :)

  6. back in 2006 Schnitzel and I spend a week in the Loire at a lovely gite and castle - lavauguyon.free.fr - the owner took us to his fav white wine producer and while there we met the restuarant owner that you dined at in Sasilly - we had a nice lunch there also.
    We then went to chateau de la grille for his fav red producer. I think this is now owned or leased by Baudy in this post. I remember the chateau and layout. We bought 2 ageable reds for 30E and almost had to sign and oath that we would not drink these wines before 2013 and 14 I believe - so in the cellar for a year or so to see how good they are.

    love your travels - Dale TROUT Sevig

  7. Now I am wondering - did I miss the blog where you or Walt state that moving to Saint-Aignan would be a VERY desireable location because of the close proximity to such a fabulous wine-growing region? It sure seems like a good reason to me.

    Red is the color that attracted me in your photos today: the red top on the Fiat 500 as well as the red-painted wheels on the cute flat-bed truck.

    Mary in Oregon


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