Muscadet is the best deal in French white wine. Period. Well, the good stuff anyway. There’s an awful lot of bad Muscadet, virtually everything that’s produced in fact, but we’re not talking about those industrial, commercial wine factories which account for so much of the production here. This tiny bit of great wine is made by but a handful of producers and you’ll see offers on most of these throughout the year when they’re released. I do have a couple of favorites though and Luneau-Papin is one of them, along with Domaine de la Pépière.
The 50 hectare Luneau-Papin estate has been in existence for almost 300 years and Pierre and Monique Luneau-Papin are the 8th generation of winemakers in their family and son Pierre has officially taken the torch with the2011 vintage though his father is still very much active in the day to day operations here. Farming and winemaking is traditional with organic viticulture, handpicked fruit and vinification and bottling done parcel by parcel to reflect the vast differences in soil and bedrock here. The soils in this maritime region close to Nantes in coastal Brittany are composed of mainly granite, mica, feldspars and schist. Essentially volcanic in origin due to a massive upheaval a half billion years ago and perfect for the Melon de Bourgogne vine to thrive, unlike the limestones of its ancestral Burgundian home where plantings of it are now an exotic rarity.