Muscadet, made from the Melon de Bourgogne, is widely produced around the town of Nantes in the western Loire. These are crisp, refreshing dry wines, ideal with seafood. The Côtes de Grandlieu is considered a superior region of Muscadet, producing intense, almost exotic fruit with the rich bread-like character added by aging over winter on the wine`s lees.
The vines under go pruning and de-budding to spread out the bunches to ensure the grapes get plenty of wind and sunlight without the risk of rot that short pruning can bring. In summer they are thinned to ensure even ripening and ever-greater concentration in the grapes. At harvest the grapes are gently pressed in pneumatic presses. The juice is then allowed to settle and is kept cold, a `stabilisation à froid` that brings out even more flavours and aromas. After fermentation in glass-lined underground vats, the wines are then left to mature on their lees until bottling sur lies in the spring, a technique that encourages the full expression of the `terroir`.