LEVIN Wines is certified organic in the winery and takes a clean, ‘new world’ approach in the winery

to allow the present characters of the fruit present itself. The grapes are handpicked into small crates by expert pickers and hand sorted on a table at the vineyard. At the winery, they are sorted again into the destemmer and chilled before entering the press, ensuring only pristine grapes are crushed and no oxidative characters develop.

During vintage, the Levins work closely with their local-born Loire Valley organic winemaker, Emmanuel Bienvenu to decide on grape picking and approaches in the winery, with deference to physiological ripeness, flavour and the biodynamic calendar (fruit and leaf days).

Temperature controlled stainless steel fermenters allow cold stabilisation, very cool ferment and fine-tuning of the aromatic and alcoholic fermentation using indigenous yeasts. The 2012 Sauvignon Blanc fermentation process began at 10ºC and increased to 18ºC, over 10 days. After evaluation, the temperature was decreased to 8ºC to ‘stress’ the yeasts to maximise the aromatics. Over the course of a month, it was first increased to 18ºC and then 20ºC to finish aromatic fermentation. Alcoholic fermentation was then completed over approximately 12 days. For fining, only bentonite clay is used (rather than isinglass or egg whites), so the wines remain vegan throughout production.

Throughout the year, viticulture in the Bourré, Oisly and Choussy vineyards is led by Emmanuel with family team Bernard Frerejacques (who has been with the domaine for more than 20 years), his wife Isobel, son Adrian. Local forestier, farmer and chateaux conservateur, David de Schrynmakers, assists with the organic and biodynamic preparation and development of new vineyard plantings.