This is a small family estate close to the famous Loire valley châteaux of Chenonceaux, Chambord and Cheverny, the last of which gives its name to a gem among the Loire's 60 wine appellations. The Delaille family at Domaine du Salvard produce some of Cheverny's best wines.
Maurice Delaille bought this property in 1900, replanting the vineyards and modernising the estate, and it has since passed through five generations of the family. It is currently run by brothers Emmanuel and Thierry, who manage winemaking and marketing respectively, and who have both become great ambassadors for Cheverny.
The Cheverny appellation is a thoroughly rural spot a little east of Blois, with its vineyards scattered around the village of the same name, and its wines are required to be a blend dominated by sauvignon blanc with some chardonnay. Since Maurice's day, the vineyards have expanded from 10 to 42 hectares, 90% of which are sauvignon blanc and chardonnay, with a small amount of pinot noir and gamay for the domaine's red wine production.
Domaine du Salvard's vines are planted on hillsides of flint, clay and quartz silt soils and have an average age of 20 years. They are machine-harvested early to retain the grapes' vibrant fruit character, before being transferred to the family's modern winery, where they are fermented at cool temperatures in stainless-steel tanks. This, too, ensures the sauvignon's fruity nature is emphasised, with the small amount of chardonnay in the blend giving added weight and texture.