A vine in the foreground with a chapel and other buildings in the background.

Producer Profile: Domaine du Petit Clocher

Nestled in the heart of the renowned Loire Valley, Domaine du Petit Clocher is a family-owned winery with a rich history dating back generations (4 to be precise!). The winery, belonging to the Denis family, has evolved and flourished through time, guided by a commitment to adaptation and modernisation while staying true to its core values. Situated amidst the breathtaking landscapes of the region, the estate is dedicated to crafting exceptional wines that reflect the unique terroir and heritage of the Loire Valley.

The Le Petit Clocher vineyard, located in close proximity to Saumur, straddles the borders of Mauges and Poitou. Positioned predominantly on the undulating hillsides shaped by the Layon river, this vineyard sits at the convergence of three distinct geological zones – the Armorican Basin, the Paris Basin, and the Thouet Valley. This remarkable geographical setting is characterised by vigorous geological processes underlying its soils, providing an ideal environment for viticulture.

The vines thrive in a terroir composed of a diverse array of rocks, including hard green and grey schist, pink granulite with amphibole of Thouars, and igneous rocks, remnants of the region’s past seismic activity. This unique combination of geological elements imparts distinctive characteristics to their wines. This diversity of terroir shapes the character and personality of their wines, offering a true reflection of the geological richness and viticultural potential of the region.

Each member of the Denis Family has played a pivotal role in shaping the estate, driven by a shared passion for the land and a dedication to crafting authentic wines of distinct character. The winegrowing legacy began in 1920 when Jules-Émile and Marie Denis, grocers from Cléré-sur-Layon, acquired several hectares of land, marking the inception of the Denis family’s winemaking journey. Jules-Émile’s vision and attachment to the vineyard laid the foundation for future generations.

Maurice Denis, their youngest child, expanded the vineyard alongside his wife, Marie-Antoinette. Under Maurice’s leadership, the estate grew to cover 18 hectares, focusing exclusively on winegrowing. He embraced innovation, introducing modern practices such as tractor usage and transitioning to Cabernet grapes, leading to the production of quality red wines.

Antoine and Jean-Noël, Maurice’s sons, inherited their father’s dedication to the vineyard. They expanded the estate further, reaching 33 hectares, and renamed it Domaine du Petit Clocher. Their commitment to producing elegant red wines earned the estate recognition, culminating in prestigious awards. They envisioned the estate’s future, modernizing operations and investing in equipment while preserving traditional winemaking techniques.

Stéphane, Vincent, and Julien, Antoine and Jean-Noël’s sons, assumed leadership from their fathers, ushering in a new era for the estate. Building on ancestral knowledge, they integrated modern practices learned from leading vineyards worldwide. The trio’s partnership brought about significant advancements, including the construction of a modern winery and the adoption of sustainable practices. In 2018, in recognition of their efforts, they obtained the HVE certification (High Environmental Value) for their 90-hectare estate, reaffirming their commitment to environmental awareness and the preservation of terroir and the well-being of the surrounding fauna.

Today, Domaine du Petit Clocher continues to thrive under the stewardship of the Denis Family, blending tradition with innovation to produce wines of unparalleled quality while embracing new environmental challenges and ensuring a sustainable future for generations to come.

Domaine du Petit Clocher Sauvignon Blanc IGP

Domaine du Petit Clocher Sauvignon Blanc – £14.00

A bright and refreshing Sauvignon from the Loire Valley – Sancerre on a budget!

Domaine Du Petit Clocher Chardonnay Anjou

Domaine du Petit Clocher Chardonnay, Anjou – £14.50

Unoaked Chardonnay with notes of peach and floral, with a light, fresh palate due to Loire’s cool climate.

Domaine du Petit Clocher Rose De Loire AOC

Domaine du Petit Clocher Rosé De Loire AOC – £13.50

This is a crisp, fruity rosé on the bolder side that’s just the thing for al fresco sipping.

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A bottle of red wine with The Oxford Wine Company logo on its label, the phrase 'Awaiting Image' overlain

Côteaux du Layon, Nascentia, Domaine du Petit Clocher, Anjou – £35.00

Superbly sweet and bursting with exotic character, yet still beautifully balanced and exceptionally fresh.

Domaine du Petit Clocher Anjou Blanc

Domaine du Petit Clocher Anjou Blanc – £17.50

A refreshingly light, clean, complex and food friendly Chenin Blanc from the Anjou region.

Domaine du Petit Clocher Anjou Villages Rouge

Domaine du Petit Clocher Anjou Rouge – £17.50

A blend of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon with juicy red and black fruit joined by herbal notes

Coteaux du Layon Cuvee Les Perrieres Domaine du Petit Clocher

Côteaux du Layon, Cuvée Les Perrières, Domaine du Petit Clocher, Anjou – £22.00

A dessert wine with floral, honied aromas are followed by a palate of ripe exotic fruits.