La Grange Tiphaine
La Grange Tiphaine is the 17 hectare domaine of Damien and Coralie Delecheneau in the Loire Valley. Damien and Coralie both studied oenology and viticulture in Bordeaux, then headed overseas to expand their knowledge through work with wineries in California and South Africa. They returned to France in 2002 to take over Damien’s familial domaine in Amboise. Damien is the fifth generation to farm this land, but he and Coralie set out with an entirely different aim. They embarked on a mission to convert to organic production, then biodynamic, and expanded westward by adding parcels in Montlouis-Sur-Loire. When Coralie joined the domaine full-time in 2008 the couple began to realise their vision for a top-quality, handmade wines from this often underrated region. Two decades later, they create nearly a dozen award-winning wines that evoke the terroir in its purest sense.
They embrace a minimalist approach in the vineyard and the winery, insisting on minimal additives and interventions - preferring to let the terroir speak for itself. They also focus on sustainable practices, have experimented with horses over tractors, recycle water and minimise packing waste.
The couple tend vines in three different appellations and produce an average of 85,000 bottles a year, but each cuvée has a personality - a soul - created and carefully nourished by their work. They both delight in and share the work of nearly all aspects of the production, and their unified vision is clear across their large range. Both Coralie and Damien are musicians, and their love of music is often expressed in their wines, from naming and labels to concerts they hold in their ageing cellar.
The domaine produces elegant, precise wines from six grapes: whites from Chenin and Sauvignon Blanc, and four reds: Côt (Malbec), Cabernet Franc, Gamay, and a rare native variety Grolleau. Whether sparkling, dry, semi-sweet or sweet, all the wines carry the domaines’ signature of quality, innovation and pure varietal expression.View Wines
Damien & Coralie
Coralie and Damien Delecheneau have become (unintentional) ambassadors for the Touraine and organic viticulture in the Loire. Their passion of the terroir here, alongside the exceptional quality of their wines, has led to an almost cult-like following in global markets. One could site their numerous awards, dedication to biodynamics, refined methodology and sold-out vintages, but its simpler than that: their enthusiasm is infectious and their wines are delicious.
In addition to winemaking and administrative duties, Coralie spends a great deal of time traveling the world, extolling the virtues of the Touraine and converting even skeptics of natural wine.
Damien also works to encourage sustainable practices and innovation. He is the president of the AOC Montlouis-sur-Loire, where he pushed through an appellation-wide ban of all weed-control chemicals in 2018 - one of the first in France. He was also instrumental in creating the designation for "Pétillant Originel AOC Montlouis sur Loire" - the first official recognition of ancestral method sparkling wines, which La Grange Tiphaine helped popularise with their Nouveau Nez cuvée. He somehow also finds time teach at the nearby Lycée Viticole, where he helps to ensure the next generations continue to preserve the land through organic methods.
Click here to learn more about Coralie and Damien's love of music.Follow
La Grange Tiphaine is located on the southern outskirts of Amboise, in the Touraine, the geographic centre of the Loire Valley. The Loire river winds through the town, creating foggy cool mornings nearly all year long. The winery and most of their land is perched on a small hill between some of the region’s most famous chateau. But instead of a similarly glorious building, or even a network of troglodyte caves used by many winemakers in the area, the domaine is a grange, or barn. Or rather, a series of barns. For generations Damien’s family had used this land for farming. But when the couple set out to create their ideal organic winery, they envisioned a series of barns, each responsible for a part of the winemaking process.
The soul of the domaine is the ageing barn. It is the oldest building onsite, but has been stunningly restored, creating a special place for extended maturing of their wines in wood, terra cotta and sandstone vessels. The vaulted barn roof creates excellent acoustics, so the couple - who are both music lovers and avid musicians - installed a piano and sound isolating panels. The space is now also home to concerts with local artists - whose music soothes the sleeping wines.
Most of the domaine’s vines are within eyeshot, so Coralie and Damien spend endless hours walking in their parcels pulling leaves, applying treatments and tending the soils. Some of these vines are over a century old, and one gets the sense they are pampered like old family members. Coralie and Damien have been following biodynamic principles since 2014, and see the benefits of this work magnify every year. Many of the newer plantings are made with selection massale - cuttings from original vines, not clones, adding to the genetic diversity amongst the rows.
They also have their own home here amongst the barns, where they live with their two sons and dog Lou. This makes La Grange Tiphaine more of a compound than a grange, but certainly a very special place producing equally special wines.
Watch Coralie Delécheneau’s interview with 67 Pall Mall.Location
"To taste these wines is to truly taste nature."
Images by Audrey Dubessay
Words by Allison Burton-Parker