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Producer Focus: Julien Courtois

Julien Courtois, following in his father Claude's footsteps, created his own vineyard, Le Clos de la Bruyère, in 1998. Based in Soings en Sologne, the 4.5 hectare domain is run by Julien and his girlfriend, Heidi Kuka*.

Julien works with seven varieties of grapes, including an ungrafted Menu Pineau, planted in 1978, which is used to make the Originel wine.

He adheres strictly to the principle of making wines from low-yield vineyards, so the wines can be as concentrated as possible. Their work is guided by the natural rhythms of nature, and all the work takes place by hand. Chemical treatments are eschewed in favour of plant-based remedies. “We make wines that are different, natural and rich from the values provided by a sane wine-making process,” Julien explains. “Whether in the vineyards or in the cellar, wines are made without any chemical products, which gives them a unique and singular taste.” Tasting his wines is one of those rare wine experiences which make you feel privileged to be tasting something special produced by someone unique.

Julien says: 'From the vine to the bottle, each stage of production meets the requirements of quality natural wines without compromise.'

THE WINE MAKING

In winter, in order to limit yields, vines are pruned "short". In spring, it is mowing and maintenance of vineyards. Again no chemicals or pesticides. Everything is done in respect of the environment.

To ensure traditional and natural wine-making, the grapes are harvested at an optimum maturity. We produce crops without artifices such as sugaring, acidification and concentration. The result is honest wines, with a strong character that will delight wine lovers of authentic terroir.

View the full range of Julien Courtois wines here

THE WINE LABELS

*The gorgeous labels are produced by Julien's partner Heidi Kuka who was born in New Zealand. Her father is of Maori descent and her artwork is a wonderful combination of European art with a Maori twist.