• lynne coyle

Quartz, Quincy & A Master Sommelier

Updated: Aug 27, 2019

The village of Quincy and its surrounding vineyards are located in the central Loire Valley on the left bank of a plateau overlooking the river Cher. The wines are made from Sauvignon Blanc which is thought to have arrived in the area with the Benedictine monks during the middle ages.

Quincy was the second region in France to be granted appellation d'origins contrôlée (AOC) status in the 1930's and the first in the Loire Valley. The vineyard area is relatively small at just over 300 hectares and is one of the hottest and driest in the central Loire Valley area. Because of this, the grapes ripen earlier than their more famous Menetou-Salon and Sancerre neighbours. Quincy is a delightful find, much appreciated in France itself where most of the wine is sold.

Dimitri Mesnard has Qunicy roots - a Master Sommelier (MS) since 2003 and the current Chairman of the Court of Master Sommeliers, Dimitri can trace his family back four hundred years in the Quincy area. So, ten years ago, when his grandmother passed away, he followed a strong urge to keep his contact with Quincy alive.

With his mothers blessing and amid a good old fashioned family land dispute, Dimitri stepped in and bought a parcel of land from the estate of his late grandmother then supplemented it with parcels of land purchased from her sister, his great aunt. Although some parcels were only ten metres square, in all he bought twenty seven parcels of land.

For the next seven years he exchanged and traded parcels with neighbours, family and friends until he had a half hectare site in which to plant a vineyard. Dimitri is now the proud owner of a one hectare vineyard that he planted from scratch. At the time he decided to pursue his dream, there were only three

families growing grapes in this part of Quincy so buying an existing vineyard was not an option.

Three years ago, he planted a third of his hectare which came into production in the 2018 vintage. In the first vintage Dimitri had enough grapes to make a tiny 250 x 12 cases, but each year will see more grapes coming into maturity. Borrowing winery space from his friends, Dimitri has just launched his first Quincy wine named Quartz.

Quartz is the result of ten years of hard work. Over this period , much of his time and any spare money went into getting his own vineyard project underway. Apart from his families links to this part of the Loire Valley, according to Dimitri local "old country mythology" links white witches to his vineyard location.

In addition to this and the unique vineyard soil, a combination of clay and quartz, has resulted in a slightly new age vibe to his naming of his wine Quartz. With ten years in the making of framing, financial investment and hard work, lets hope that Quartz and Dimitri enjoy the good karma they deserve for this fascinating wine project.

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