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Domaine de la Grande Courraye

Bordeaux, France

About Domaine de la Grande Courraye

The conclusion of the Second World War marks the moment that modern chemical agriculture became the norm in the west. After the war, synthetic pesticides and herbicides appeared quickly on the market and like many countries, France embraced these new products with open arms. The country was reeling from the conflict and the occupation. While today we understand the consequences of such methods, at the time these products resembled nothing as much as a miracle, drastically reducing the labor required to maintain fields and vineyards alike. But even in this explosion of modernity there were growers who second-guessed the wisdom of chemical farming. Alain Dupuy was one such grower.

After the war he returned home to take control of the family estate, Chateau Beausejour in Puisseguin Saint Emilion. His father Marceau had purchased the property in 1934. Not only did Alain inherit his father’s time-honored techniques for tending to the vines, but he also also spent time examining the effects of the new farming products on the market. He came to the conclusion that the potential dangers to workers and consumers alike outweighed any benefits. After all, his father was a doctor. Before “organic” viticulture became an established practice, Alain’s approach was groundbreaking and set the stage for the winery’s future success.

In 1995, Alain’s son, Gerard Dupuy, joined the family business and took it a step further by pursuing organic certification from Ecocert, a testament to the work of his father and grandfather. Gerard remains committed to the organic principles of winemaking, avoiding chaptalization, acidification, or any alteration to the wines. Since his children Victor, Manu and Camille have joined him, they have taken this commitment to natural farming and biodiversity further, converting to biodynamics and obtaining Demeter certification. They avoid tilling the soil unless absolutely necessary, preferring to maintain a robust cover crop to encourage microbiological health and limit erosion. In addition to adding to Alain’s viticultural legacy, Gerard and his children have also expanded their geographic footprint, acquiring vineyards further afield in Bergerac and elsewhere in Bordeaux.

Starting with the 2016 vintage, they purchased the Domaine de la Grande Courraye in the Castillon. Part of the Cote de Bordeaux to the east of Saint Emilion and Puisseguin, the Castillon has never been a source of grand wines but rather delicious everyday Bordeaux. The hills are shallow and roll slowly here but there is still plenty of clay and limestone to lend wines character and a sense of place. Like all their vineyards, the Dupuys farm these vineyards biodynamically, while the wines are fermented and aged in stainless steel. The resulting wines have ample weight but are more notable for their aromatic richness, full of notes of dried purple flowers, woolen sweaters and black fruit and generally with a level of finesse rarely found at this level.

Additional Details:

  • Producer: Domaine de la Grande Gourraye
  • Varietals: Merlot / Cabernet Franc
  • Organic Practice Certificates: organic
  • Image
  • Country: France
  • Region: Bordeaux
  • Sub Region: Cotes du Bordeaux Castillon

Organic Practices

Sustainably Farmed

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