Loire Valley

It is so inspiring to be in the company of Coralie and Damien Delecheneau. Their profusion of energy and happiness is striking and totally infectious.

Damien studied viticulture and oenology in Bordeaux, before heading to work at wineries in the Napa Valley and South Africa. In 2002, he returned to the family domaine, La Grange Tiphaine, which had been run by the family for five generations. The young man brought back his acute and discerning winemaker’s knowledge and experience, along with his determination. He had the strong vision to preserve the family estate’s different terroirs, and to produce remarkable wines.

Step by step, Damien took over the operations at La Grange Tiphaine. First and foremost, he introduced organic viticulture onto the 15-hectare estate, distributed between the appellations Montlouis-sur-Loire, Touraine, and Touraine-Amboise. His objective was to simply safeguard the ecosystem and its biodiversity.

Soon Damien’s wines started to gain recognition among his peers and, in 2008, Coralie - whom he met at the winemaking college - joined him at the domaine.

One of the couple’s priorities was to build a much-needed cellar. In 2010, after 18 months of planning and sharing ideas, their state-of-the-art dream cellar was finally completed. 

In the vineyards, which they have been farming following biodynamic principles since 2014, Coralie and Damien look after the health of their vines, some of which are over a century old. They pamper them.

The pair crafts wines from Chenin Blanc, Côt (or Malbec), Gamay, Cabernet Franc, and Grolleau, and in the cellar, their work is very precise and measured. The ageing takes place in concrete tanks and in old barrels.

Those who know Coralie and Damien are aware of their affection for music. The duo often refers to music when they talk about wine: ‘Music seems magic to those who listen to it, but it represents an important and daily work for those who practice it. For wine, it's a little bit the same.’

Damien has become a valuable figure in a region like the Loire. In 2016, he was elected president of the appellation Montlouis by his fellow vignerons.

Together, Coralie and Damien produce splendid wines of shattering singularity revealing purity, finesse and elegance.

Profile © Françoise and Seán Gilley

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