“Mark Angeli is a paysan-vigneron, and an ecological activist. If one character can embody the wine revolution that is happening in the Loire, and more specifically in Anjou, he is without a doubt a serious contender. And his wines are also snapped up all around the world, true unicorns – ironically the symbol of the estate” – Chamber St Wines
A chemistry student who embraced viticulture as a form of environmental protection, Mark Angeli fell for wine, changed careers and moved to Anjou in 1989. In search of affordable lands to develop his vision of agriculture, Mark luckily stumbled upon the Ferme de La Sansonnière in the schistous foothills of noble rot heaven, Bonnezeaux. He bought the estate in 1990 and instantly converted his farm to Biodynamic agriculture.
A true believer in terroir, in 2007 Mark decided to stop claiming the Anjou, Coteaux du Layon or Bonnezeaux appellations and moved everything to Vin de France. To protest even more, he started to list the ingredients on the label and shifted his best Chenin plots from sweet to dry and semi-dry production. He focused on unwired, head-trained vines, which were basically unheard of in cooler climates; these vines allowed the gobelet to have more freedom and air, thus leading to healthier grapes and less rot as well as avoiding the use of manipulative techniques during the production process.
Today, Mark is accompanied by his son Martial, and their leadership in the Loire Valley natural wine movement is unchallenged. Angeli’s Chenin blancs have long been considered benchmarks in the region, but in the eyes of many today, they are his most precise, complex and compelling wines to date.
Mark and his son embrace a variety of practices including: “agroforestry, regenerative farming, ungrafted vines, gobelet and echalas pruning, rehabilitation of forgotten varieties (like Grolleau blanc), amphora, and homeopathic uses of volcanic sulfur.” The Angeli’s currently farm “7.5 ha of mostly chenin and a little Grolleau (blanc, gris and noir) in Anjou, Coteaux-du-Layon and Bonnezeaux