In 1989 Mark Angeli bought the Ferme de la Sansonnière (Bellevigne-en-Layon). In 1990, he dove into biodynamic cultivation, encouraged by Jean-Luc Tantou (Château La Tour Blanche à Sauternes). At that time, his neighbours didn’t take too kindly to him. But he carried on and found another mentor, another neighbour : Nicolas Joly (La Coulée de Serrant). Fairly quickly his wines found a market in France but also internationally, and the Foucault brothers (ex-Clos Rougeard) sent him customers. Winegrower and farmer, Mark Angeli, formerly a bricklayer, runs his farm with conviction, precision, attention, humility, zeal and sensitivity. His combat today ? The AOC system.
In 2002, when he presented the wines from his finest parcel of chenin for accreditation, these latter were refused the appellation Anjou. He took out his reds in 2006 and his whites in 2007. Since then, his production is “Vin de France” ! This combat, which he still continues to lead to this day, has seen him write a book “Les raisins de la colère” Anger has helped him to go further. He refuses to pretend. Now that he is out of the appellation system, it seems that Mark Angeli is even more free in his choice of how to work, in his words.
But Mark hasn’t stopped there. He has become a solidarity winegrower, organizing at his home, among his vines, information days for young winegrowers arriving in his region. He refers to his experience, his problems (no wages for the first 8 years after his installation) to train, organise and advise. Currently, around thirty winegrowers come to these days each year. Mark Angeli and four of his colleagues help them with their installation. There’s a real spark, and Mark shares his thirty years’ experience, at the same time dwelling on the fact of “not being able to write the name of the place where he produces his grapes”. Grrrr…
For new customers, like Petites Caves, the requirement is to promote a few young winemakers by buying the wines that (we) like and thereby obtaining a few magical bottles from the Ferme de la Sansonnière. This is something that we are more than pleased to do, by supporting Liv Vincendeau and Olivier Lejeune. It is a great pleasure to propose a few bottles from Mark & Martial (his son) Angeli and Bruno Ciofi, new partner and formerly the estate manager at the Domaine de la Pinte, in the Jura, where he converted this domain to Biodynamic.