(Soings en Sologne/Loire, France)
In the heart of the Sologne, Julien Courtois and his sweetheart Heidi Kuka cultivate their estate dubbed 'Clos de la Bruyere, which is approximately 4.5 hectares of vines all around 40 years old and recovered from obscurity. In the spirit of his father, following in the tradition of natural winemaking, Julien has worked tirelessly to reinvigorate long damaged soils so they might be brought back into harmony with nature. Everything is done manually with little sulfur added at bottling, if any; Julien is a non-interventionist winemaker, never relying on herbicides or pesticides, only organic processes from start to finish. The vine rows are left to carefully landscaped vegetation - herbs and flowers - providing for a variety of fauna that are able to roam freely through the vineyards. With the vines - Romorantin, Menu-Pineau, Gascon, Cot and a variety of Gamay clones - growing harmoniously in deep silica and silex-dotted red clay, Julien has managed to produce wines of elegance, concentration and best of all sincerity.
Vin de France,’Autochtone’
From 15 year old vines planted on soils of clay and silex, the grapes are handpicked in small batches between the end of September and beginning of October. Fermentation is spontaneous and lasts between 15 days and 1 month with no temperature control and is kept on the lees the entire time. The wine is then aged for 18 months in barrique before being bottled without filtering or fining.
Vin de France, ‘Originel
100% Menu Pineau (aka Orbois)
From vines aged 50 years and planted on clay-silex soils, the grapes are hand-harvested at the end of September and beginning of October, and are always hand sorted. Spontaneous fermentation lasts between 15 days and 1 month, staying in contact with the lees sans battonage and aged for 18 months in barrique. Unfiltered.
Vin de France,’Ancestral’
45% Cot, 45% Gamay Chaudenay, 10% Gascon
The vines are aged between 12-40 years of age and are grown on clay-silex based soils and are hand-harvested at the end of September and beginning of October. The grapes spend one week macerating, then undergoes spontaneous fermentation between 15 days to 1 month with no temperature control. The wine then spends 18 months in barrique. Unfiltered.
Vin de France, Chaudenay, “Element”
100% Gamay Chaudenay
From 50 year old vines planted on clay-silex based soils, the grapes are hand-harvested at the end of September and beginning of October, and then undergo manual sorting. Maceration lasts one week before spontaneous fermentation begins lasting between 15 days and 1 month with no temperature control. Aged for 18 months in barrique; unfiltered.