Julien Courtois created his own vineyard, Le Clos de la Bruyère, in
1998, having learned the trade from his father, Claude. The 4.5 hectare
domain in Soings en Sologne is run by Julien and his girlfriend, Heidi
Kuka. Here they work with seven varieties of grapes, including an
ungrafted Menu Pineau, planted in 1978, which is used to make the
Both Julien and his father have always kept to the principles of making
wines from low-yield vineyards, allowing them to reach the optimum
concentration, and working on the basis of natural cycles. This means
that the harvest takes places at the point of the grapes’ peak
maturity, and all by hand. Chemical treatment for the vines is also
avoided, with plant-based mixtures used instead.
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.
Gamay Franc-de-Pied planted in 1978, Cote planted in 2003 and Gascon
planted in 2006. Grapes are hand harvested before natural fermentation
in old oak barrels. Ageing for 12 months in old barrel. Only 1 racking,
no filtration, no fining.