Olivier Cousin is one of our favorite natural vignerones out in the Loire. He is a man that believes in the balance between nature and the farmer and tends to identify himself more in an agricultural light than as a wine drenched authority. As a result, he decided to substitute his tractor for some impressive draft horses that help him with his vineyard work. The following video has him discussing his reasoning and approach to what he does
Cousin’s use of livestock is not the only thing drawing attention: he’s got himself in quite the pickle with the French government. The basic issue revolves around Cousin’s labeling practices and his unwillingness to pay an organization called Inter Loire (sounds like an evil empire to me!!!) what they have amusingly termed “Voluntary Compulsory Contribution.” This might not seem like too big of a deal but an odd disagreement has flowered into a full on French scandal! Check out the article on Decanter and if you’re compelled check out the support site importer Jenny & Francois has erected.
…and just in case you want a more panoramic view of Mr. Cousin and his vines check out this great article on one of our favorite wine blogs: Wine Terroirs!