Portraits Vignerons - Ivan Massonnat, le nouveau visage du domaine Pithon Paillé : la révolution des vins d'Anjou ! - Les Grappes

Ivan Massonnat, the new face of the Pithon Paillé estate: the revolution in Anjou wines!

Ivan Massonnat, who has always had a passion for oenology, a passion that he feeds thanks to his professional career, decides to buy a domain and to launch himself into the adventure.

In February 2018, it is at the bend of a fair that Ivan meets Joe Pithon through the recommendations of a friend and learns that Joe is retiring and is looking for someone to take over his estate. The next day Ivan visits the Pithon Paillé estate, falls in love with the slopes of Les Treilles and decides that his wine adventure will start here.

Coteaux des Treilles, a jewel in Anjou

Abandoned a long time ago due to the complexity of the work of viticulture, the Coteaux des Treilles is a magical place reconstituted 20 years ago by Joe Pithon, who bought 70 plots and grouped them into one on the Coteaux du Layon, above the eponymous river, facing due south.

This now emblematic plot is made up solely of the flagship white grape variety of the Loire: Chenin Blanc. Located in the heart of a classified reserve, this jewel rivals today with the emblematic appellation that is the coulée de Serrant.

After this purchase, everything went very fast. Advised by Joe, Ivan managed to buy back 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 cuvées by parcel. Ivan thus carries out his first harvest in 2018 with a particularly favourable year for harvesting!

From the beginning, Ivan wanted to put his mark on the estate and so he started to rename it. On the Coteaux des Treilles is a variety of blue butterfly called the Bellargus and that's where the name of the domain was born!

Ivan decides to highlight a single grape variety that he appreciates enormously: chenin. Declined in dry and sweet wines, he tries to bring out the quintessence of each terroir through 6 cuvées in parcels for his dry wines and 5 for his sweet wines.

Concerning the treatment of the vines, Joe Pithon had already been working organically for several years, Ivan decided to go further and tackle biodynamics. With the precious help of Guy Bossard, pioneer of biodynamics in the Loire, he obtained his Demeter certification in 1998.

Even if Ivan clearly puts his foot down at the domain, he decides to keep the emblematic vintages of the Pithon Paillé domain such as Grololo, Mozaïque or Brut de Chenin which are Joe's heritage.

Ivan chose a young team to accompany him on his estate, 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!

Chenin, an extraordinary grape variety

Recognized as a very great grape variety by wine lovers and unfortunately little known by the general public, chenin is Ivan's spearhead to promote the wines of Anjou.

More than ever, people are looking for fresh and taut wines, discovering new terroirs and territories. And it is with its acid structure, which gives it the balance necessary for a true wine for laying down that Chenin manages to compete with the greatest white wines in the world! With recent trends to reduce meat consumption and global warming, more than ever the white wines of the Loire are 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 seize the opportunity to make it a tool for outreach, and it's a real success!

On Sunday 30 June at the Coulée de Serrant, more than 500 people are expected by around sixty winegrowers from the Loire Valley as well as chefs from the Loire Valley.chefs of the region and chaired this year by Pascaline Lepeltier and Paz Levinson, 2 huge references in the world of wine!

The hour of Anjou has arrived according to Ivan!

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