Jo Landron is a man whose modesty is only matched by his mustache. Reticent to accept praise for his expressive Muscadets, he credits the diversity of the domaine’s terroirs, situated on the upper slopes of the Sèvre River near Nantes. Since 1990, after taking the reins from his father, Jo has expanded the family holdings from 26 to 50 hectares of vineyards. His approach to viticulture is the result of an ongoing philosophical journey, which began in 1999 with the labor-intensive commitment of organic conversion, eventually earning certification from EcoCert in 2002. By 2005, with the guidance of consultant Pierre Masson, Jo and his team began implementing biodynamic practices and became certified in 2011. Over time, the treatments applied to the vines clearly contributed to an increased balance and liveliness in the wines. A strong awakening occurred; the Muscadets became not only an expression of grape and soil, but a deeper reflection of the place where they are grown.
Biodiversity is foundational to Jo's farming philosophy. While the majority of his vineyards are dedicated to Melon de Bourgogne, seven hectares are planted to Folle Blanche, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and the relatively unknown grape of Montils, all of which make up the blend for Atmosphères, Jo's crisp and cult-y sparkling wine. The diversity of soils and distinct terroirs form the identity of the Landron Muscadets: Amphibolite grown on plots underpinned by metamorphic rock, Les Houx from plots of sandstone on clay, and both Fief du Breil and Clos la Carizière from plots grown on orthogneiss and quartz.
The appellation of Muscadet Sèvre et Maine has a temperate, maritime climate with precipitation throughout the year. Thanks to air currents constantly flowing through the Sèvre Valley, especially near the trees surrounding Landron’s vineyards, ventilation is high and disease pressure is minimal. Low yields of no more than 42 hl/ha encourage the vine to produce flavorful fruit, even more so in challenging vintages like 2012 where yields were only 18 hl/ha! All harvesting is done by hand using a vigorous triage of the grapes during picking. With such great attention paid to nurturing the vines and revealing the individual terroirs, Jo is careful to honor these distinctions in the cellar. He also makes one Natural Wine, called Melonix, which is vinified without SO2 (tiny dose added at bottling) Interestingly, he bottles it as a Vin de France because he feels it is less a terroir wine and more a reflection of a particular wine-making technique.
Since 1982, each plot has been fermented separately. Gentle pressing of whole bunches, wild yeast fermentations lasting two to three weeks, cold stabilization without additives, and aging on the fine lees without malolactic fermentation are all vital factors in achieving fresh and focused wines with mineral intensity and finesse. The Landron wines are bottled by gravity, unfined and unfiltered. They were among the earliest standard bearers in France’s natural wine movement, and we are proud to support Jo and his team in their continued pursuit of personality and authenticity.