Jo Landron is too modest to take much praise for his expressive Muscadets. He would be more inclined to credit the diversity of his terroirs, situated on the upper slopes of Sèvre River near Nantes. He worked alongside his father, Pierre, for a number of years and took control of the domaine in the 1990s. Since then, Jo has managed to expand Domaine de la Louvetrie from 26 to 48 hectares of vineyards, adding two new estates to the family holdings. In 1999, Jo began converting the estate to organic and biodynamic practices, earning certification in both forms of viticulture. These labor-intensive farming practices illustrate Jo’s commitment to expressing the purity and exquisite minerality of the terroirs. With soils that range from clay, sandstone, silica and gneiss to the metamorphic amphibolite of a special rift that runs all the way up to Nantes, each vineyard shows itself uniquely in his delicious cuvees. Low yields of 42 hl/ha invigorate the vine to produce flavorful fruit, even more so in challenging vintages like 2012 where he was only able to yield 18 hl/ha! While the majority of his crop is dedicated to Melon de Bourgogne, Jo also plants small quantities of Folle Blanche, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay for his crisp sparkling wine, “Atmosphères.”
Jo harvests by hand and does a vigorous triage of the grapes during picking. He presses whole clusters slowly and gently over three hours with a pneumatic press to obtain only the best juice. Alcoholic fermentation takes place with the help of wild yeasts and lasts from two to three weeks. To best preserve the freshness, finesse, and precision of the fruit, he then ages the wines on fine lees without any malolactic fermentation for six months in the Muscadet Sur Lie and 18-20 months in the “Fief du Breil.” Starting with the 2012 vintage, the “Amphibolite” is pressed, racked and aged entirely off its lees. The wines of Domaine de Louvetrie are bottled by gravity, unfined and unfiltered, and offer incredible diversity and mineral intensity.
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