Domaine La Grange Tiphaine

Loire Valley (Montlouis/Touraine), France
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La Grange Tiphaine was created at the end of the 19th century by Alfonse Delecheneau. It is now run by the third generation, Damien, who studied oenology and viticulture in Bordeaux and worked at wineries in California and South Africa, returning home in 2002 to take over the operations there. He brings a level of scientific precision to natural winemaking, which results in precise, textured wines of class and elegance. The design of the winery and the steps he takes to ensure quality rival some of the most technically advanced wineries in the world, but this is all in the name of using as few additives as possible, to evoke their precious terroir in its purest sense.

As of 2008 Coralie, Damien’s wife, joined the family as a fully active partner in the life and work of their 15-hectare vineyard. Damien’s talent as a winemaker are evident from the multitude of beautifully balanced, elegant, precise red, white, rosé and sparkling wines that he crafts from five different varieties: Chenin blanc, Côt (Malbec), Gamay, Cabernet Franc, and even the ancient and rare Loire variety called, Grolleau. The wines are in the AOCs of Touraine Amboise and Montlouis sur Loire. Each cuvee is different, showcasing each of the terroirs, but they all share the common thread of careful work in the vines that make for beautifully balanced, site specific, precise wines.

In 2016, Damien was honoured to take the lead in Montlouis, becoming president of the appellation. He followed in one of his idol’s footsteps, François Chidaine, and has since led the charge to use helicopters to avert frost damage that has been rampant in the Loire Valley over the past several years. At least in 2017, they were very pleased to completely stop the frost damage and save all the grapes in the Montlouis appellation.