Ivan Massonnat, who has always been passionate about oenology, a passion he nurtures through his professional career, decides to buy a domain and embark on an adventure.
In February 2018, Ivan met Joe Pithon at a salon through a friend's recommendations and learned that Joe was retiring and looking for someone to take over his estate. The next day Ivan visits the estate of Pithon Paillé, falls in love with the slopes of Les Treilles and decides that his wine-growing adventure will start here.
Neglected for a long time due to the complexity of viticulture, the hillsides of Les Treilles is a magical place recreated 20 years ago by Joe Pithon, who bought 70 parcels and grouped them into one on the Coteaux du Layon, above the eponymous river, facing due south.
This emblematic parcel is now made up solely of the Loire's flagship white grape variety: the white chenin. Located in the heart of a listed reserve, this jewel now competes with the emblematic appellation of the Coulee de Serrant.
After this takeover, everything went very fast. Advised by Joe, Ivan managed to buy a quarter of the Quarts-de-Chaume appellation in one piece, a godsend! He also acquired several vines in the Savennières appellation in order to make parcel wines. Ivan therefore made his first harvest in 2018 with a particularly good year for harvests!
From the beginning, Ivan wanted to add his brand to the domain and so he started to rename it. On the Coteaux des Treilles there is a variety of blue butterfly called the Bellargus and that is where the domain's name came from!
Ivan decided to develop a single grape variety that he greatly appreciated: the chenin. Declined in dry and sweet, it tries to bring out the quintessence of each terroir through 6 vintages in parcels for its dry wines and 5 for its sweet wines.
Concerning the treatment of vines, Joe Pithon had already been working in organic farming for several years, Ivan decided to go further and tackle biodynamics. With the precious help of Guy Bossard, a pioneer in biodynamics in the Loire, he obtained his Demeter certification in 1998.
Even if Ivan clearly affixes his paw to the estate, he decides to keep the emblematic vintages of the Pithon Paillé estate such as Grololo, Mozaïque or Brut de Chenin, which are Joe's legacy.
Ivan chose a young team to support him in his field, with an average age of less than 30 years among his 7 employees. What do each of them have in common? The love of wine, curiosity and the desire to taste!
Known as a very great grape variety by wine lovers and unfortunately little known to the general public, chenin is Ivan's spearhead to promote Anjou wines.
More than ever, people are looking for fresh and tense wines, discovering new terroirs and territories. And it is with its acid structure that it provides the necessary balance for a real wine for laying down that the chenin manages to compete with the greatest white wines in the world! With recent trends to reduce meat consumption and global warming, Loire white wines are more than ever in the spotlight.
And according to Ivan, there is nothing better than the collective to achieve this, which is why this year he is taking over the presidency of the Paulée de l'Anjou. Ivan intends to take advantage of this opportunity to make it an outreach tool, and it is a real success!
On Sunday June 30 at the Coulée de Serrant, more than 500 people are expected by some sixty winegrowers from the Loire Valley as well as by starred chefs from the region and chaired this year by Pascaline Lepeltier and Paz Levinson, 2 huge references in the world of wine! L
The hour of Anjou has arrived according to Ivan!