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La Grange Tiphaine

La Grange Tiphaine winery, in the Loire Valley, owns and farms vineyards across two appellations: Montlouis-sur-Loire and Touraine-Amboise. Luckily for us, this means we can explore the energetic and vibrant Chenin Blancs of Montlouis, as well as the soulful reds and Chenin Blancs of Touraine-Amboise, via the talented and dedicated couple behind this domaine.

Through a sensitive love for their land via organic and biodynamic methods, this winery has gone from strength to strength as they’ve learnt which winemaking methods best enable them to capture the essence of their fruit in the bottle. These days, their cellar approach is simple: touch the fruit as little as possible — intervening only when necessary — in order to let their delicious fruit shine brightly.

LITTLEWINE caught up with Coralie Delechenau on her recent visit to London.

People: Corelie and Damien Delecheneau

Place: Loire Valley, France — Montlouis-sur-Loire and Touraine-Amboise

Varieties: Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Franc, Côt (Malbec), Gamay and Grolleau

Farming: Biodynamic

Hectares: 17

Did You Know? For their next chapter, they are considering a return to polyculture. This notion of working with more than one crop will enable them to be more independent, while also reinforcing the ‘farm as an organism’ approach that biodynamic farming is all about. By having a range of plants and animals, it will strengthen the overall biodiversity of their land.

Their goal is to put all their energy and love into their vineyards, in order to have the healthiest fruit possible. This, in turn, means their winemaking can remain simple, as their fermentations are naturally healthy.

“The first step when it comes to making wine is to really understand the terroir, the plant, and to have a healthy vineyard. Good grapes make good wine, and you notice a certain expression in your wine.”

It’s been a step-by-step learning journey:

“At the beginning, you search a lot… you experiment, and you gain experience. You take notes from other people. Now, we know what we are looking for; we know what kind of wine we want to make; what kind of style. Then, it’s also about what the vintage brings to us.”

Every year presents its own challenges in the vineyard, and by addressing these hurdles and learning from every year, they become better and more sensitive farmers, gaining in intuition. She says,

“Now, we are confident and very aware of what’s happening around us. We really know our vineyards. We know which parts are sensitive to fungal attacks, which parts are sensitive to frost, which parts are really windy, which parts dry quickly, etc etc. We’ve noticed that if we want to have a super clean vineyard, we need to always be on time for each task. You need to spend time on these tasks, especially doing them well the first time round, and that means you don’t need to do them again, and again, and again… For example, with...

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