Vincent Carême and his South African wife Tania established themselves on their Vouvray property in 1999. They farm organically on 14 hectares of land around the villages of Vouvray, Vernou-sur-Brenne and Noizay in the Loire Valley, and supplement production by buying in grapes, and sometimes wine, from friends and colleagues locally to produce a négociant range to sit alongside their domaine wines.
The soils here are classic tuffeau limestone with some clay and flint and the vineyards sit at just over 300 feet above sea level. The ancient cellars are hand cut into the tuffeau cliffs overlooking the river.
Having plied his trade all over the world, including making wine in Thailand, Vincent has settled back into his home region with Tania, where he makes several styles of wine from hand-picked chenin blanc grapes, using minimal sulphur in the winemaking process. He also teaches locally and consults to friends and colleagues in the area.
Given their personal links with South Africa, it comes as no surprise to learn that Vincent has also been making wine there, from chenin blanc of course. The grapes are sourced from old chenin blanc vines grown in granitic soils in the Swartland region and the wine – Terre Brûlée (Scorched Earth) – is made at the Leeuwenkuil winery, where the team have enjoyed working together. The end result, they say, is that some of their wines have become a little more European in style, whilst Vincent's is very much a wine of the Western Cape but with a lighter French touch.
Vincent is an influential young producer and certainly one to watch, and both he and Tania are charming and welcoming, and have become great supporters of The Wine Society.