Christian Venier

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He may have flunked out of wine school on his first attempt, but decades later Christian Venier’s bottles are among the most sought-after in the world of natural wine. Venier comes from a long line of farmers in the town of Candé-sur-Beuvron, just south of Blois in the green freshness of the Loire Valley.  It’s this pedigree that makes him so meticulous in the 6 hectares of vineyards he farms, mostly older vines of local varieties on the Cheverny appellation.  Venier’s forebearers farmed in polyculture, a spirit he’s maintained in his vineyard, dotted as it is with cherry, peach, and fig trees.  An ancient farming practice, this mix enriches the soil and keeps the various plants in balance with one another.  Needless to say, his farming is entirely organic and includes biodynamic practices. “If we get the wines we get,” he’s quoted as saying, “it’s because we work the soil!”

And what wines they are… absolutely magical! Natural fermentations with no additives of any kind, Venier’s wines are bright, crisp, pure, and highly drinkable. Whites and reds alike show off the minerality of the region in graceful and ethereal aromas and flavours. This finesse has been honed over decades of experience.  After his first youthful debacle at the Amboise wine school, Christian worked as a sheep farmer and learned about winemaking with his older cousins, Thierry and Jean-Marie Puezelat.  His return to viticultural studies a few years later were crowned with success but left him with the feeling that the heavy-handed approached to farming and vinifying that he learned in school just didn’t jibe with his convictions. Determined to embrace a natural approach, he produced his first wines on the family vineyard in the mid 1990s.  As enthusiasm for his magnificent wines has grown, so has their scarcity… 

It’s been a dream since well before this agency was founded to bring Christian Venier wines to British Columbia. Repeated requests over several years were politely declined for lack of available stock.  Until one day when a visit to the winery with our good friend Anne Paillet opened doors that had previously been closed, and now it’s an honour to have theme here.  They say it’s who you know… merci, Anne! 

Pictured above: Christian, Anne, and Christian’s partner Marie-Jue.

Les Hauts de Madon (Blanc), 2022

A lovely Loire Chardonnay with a bit of zip from the 20% of Sauvignon thrown in. Energetic, lemony tartness rounded out by a touch of honeysuckle. 

Les Hauts de Madon (Rouge), 2022

70% Pinot Noir, the rest Gamay. Fruit-forward with wild strawberries and blackberries, silky and well balanced with a seductive finish.

Le Clos des Carteries, 2022

Predominantly Gamay with some Pinot Noir thrown in, this is seriously fun juice. Floral nose, candied strawberries with a hint of black liquorice.

Les Carteries, 2022

Crisp and fresh Sauvignon Blanc, rounded out by luscious Chardonnay. Sun glistening on the dew in a field of golden hay.

La Pierre aux chiens, 2022

Deep, rich, and textured, but with freshness and complexity. 100% Pinot Noir, this is one of Venier's higher-end wines.