The Pabiot vineyards sit directly on the bank opposite Sancerre. The vineyards are lovingly referred to as “Pauliacum super fluvium ligerim” which translates to “Paul’s estate on the banks of the Loire”. The family grows traditional Chasselas, but despite their modest means, their Sauvignon Blanc is what has traveled the world establishing the family name.
When Pauline finally took over (the fifth generation in her case) the family business from her grandfather, she had already seen countless vintages come and go. Lately, most had been pretty good, but she still remembered the struggles her grandfather went through during the 2011 to 2014 vintages, four tough back to back years that each required an intricate tightrope walk to navigate successfully.
But even through all that, I don’t think she expected a vintage quite like 2021. The Spring started per usual with the vines slowly springing back to life after the winter’s slumber. But as soon as they started to get settled in, a severe frost set in – causing the immediate loss of half the buds – a complete disaster.
Already facing a a potential financial collapse (imagine half your year’s income gone in a flash), it got even worse. A hailstorm came through in the final days before harvest and cut the crop in half again!
I’m sure it’s of little consolation to Pauline, but when harvests are thinned, grape quality improves. So despite having 75% less wine to sell – the quality is out of this world.
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