07 October 2022

Le vignoble de la Renaudière

As Walt wrote yesterday, the owners of the vineyard out back are in the process of renewing their plantings. Over the past year, they have torn out the old vines on a huge plot of land — about nine acres — and plowed up the ground. This week they burned all the vine trunks and branches, which they had stacked into five or six neat piles. Now they'll plow again, and next year they'll plant new vines.They have replanted two or three other plots over the past two or three years.

     We've come to know this little white van pretty well over the past 20 years. It's out in the vineyard most days. I wonder how old it actually is. Above right and below left, you can see parts of the plot that will be replanted next year, probably with Sauvignon Blanc grapes that go into making AOP Touraine Chenonceaux wines.

     Next year, I've learned, the vineyard owners intend to pull up the vines growing on another plot — about 4 acres — a little farther out on the road. In total they hold more than 30 hectares — about 80 acres — of vines in the area. The current owners/operators of the vineyard are the third and fourth generations of their family growing grapes and making wine here. Here's a link to their website including an interview with the fourth-generation winemaker and some aerial views of the Renaudière vineyard.


  1. Do we know if the Renaud family were vignerons* and if their house is still standing?
    *vigneron is an ambiguous term which, as far as understand it, can designate a wine-grower or a winemaker or both.
    There is also ambiguity in English with the two terms, winemaker and wine-grower which seem to mean the same thing — they’re both translated by “vigneron” in French.
    Interestingly, in the link below they talk about the difference between winemaker and winemaker! Some proofreading is needed!


  2. It’s always interesting to see this area around your house.

    1. Hi Judy. My comment below was a response to CHM, as you have surmised.

  3. I understand your frustration. To my mind, a vigneron is a person who plants grape vines, tends them, and harvests grapes that are turned into wine. The vigneron might make, age, bottle, and sell wine — or might sell the grapes to a winemaker who is called un négociant and who is not actually a vigneron. I don't like the term "wine-grower" because wine isn't grown. It is made by processing grapes.

  4. I agree with you. A cow is a.milk-grower!

  5. I found this very clear definition in French of the vigneron versus viticulteur :
    Le viticulteur
    Le viticulteur opère le travail de la terre, il cultive la vigne. Il prend soin de la vigne au fil des saisons et du cycle végétatif. Il récolte les grappes de raisins pendant les vendanges, le fruit d’une année de travail. Ensuite, il vend son raisin pour que d’autres acteurs le transforment en vin comme des caves coopératives ou des maisons de vins. Elles ont la charge d’élever et d’assembler les vins grâce aux raisins de plusieurs viticulteurs.

    Le vigneron

    Le vigneron est plus polyvalent, tout comme le viticulteur il cultive la
    vigne et récolte le raisin. En revanche, il garde le fruit de sa récolte pour produire son vin. Il possède une cuverie pour réaliser les étapes de la vinification.

    1. In short, the viticulteur and the vigneron are the same up to the harvest, then the viticulteur sells his harvest to others, whereas the vigneron keeps his to make his own wine.

    2. That's an interesting distinction, but I think most grape-growers around here don't honor it. They call themselves vignerons whether they make wine from their grapes or sell them to coops or négociants. The CNRTL defines viticulteur as "Personne qui cultive la vigne pour produire du vin. Synon. vigneron." I think vigneron is the everyday-life term and viticulteur is the formal, quasi-scientific term.

  6. I love words! Now that we’ve seen what the difference is (in French) between vigneron and viticulteur, I looked for the translation of viticulteur in English. Guess what? The Collins dictionary gives your favorite expression, i.e…. wine grower!! Like cows as milk growers! I guess the British people responsible for the English part of the dictionary had no notion what growing grapevines is all about.


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