Domaine de la Grange, Bruno Curassier
For six generations, the Curassier family owned and operated this winery and were pioneers to the wine farming industry in the village of Bléré. Bruno’s Great Great Grandfather purchased the estate in the 1850s before the Phylloxera pest natural disaster. They were farmers who want through the nightmare of living in a time where their industry was completely sunk.
In order to survive, Bruno’s ancestor built up, with the help of some villager, the cooperative of Bléré to rescue the local economy. They produced grapes for cooperative that would purchase upfront the fruits and deal with the vinification and distribution.
For almost 140 years, the Curassier and the cooperative had deep and strong bounds.
Bruno took over the winery after his father retired in 1992 after he graduated. He worked 10 years solely farming grapes to sell exclusively to the cooperative. Bruno is a perfectionist dedicated to always achieve wine of the outmost quality. Every step he does means another step towards better standards. For 10 years, he invested in highest caliber machineries, re modelled his vineyard to farm with an organic approach. Naturally, better quality brings better standards and higher price: a vision that was not shared by the cooperative that operates in a village in the Touraine designation. An underrated sub region means under rating prices and lower quality. Bruno would not choose to produce poor quality and non-ecofriendly wine. He couldn’t possibly continue his family historical partnership.
After building up his vinification building, he released his first bottles in 2002. Another issue he faced was the oversized estate he inherited. His family was operating 30 hectares (75 acres). He works with a handful of employee. Maintaining/enhancing the quality he aims for would require twice the amount of dedicated people. He ended the lease of some parcels in order to keep only the best and his historical ones. The estate shrank down to 14 hectares (30 acres). All the parcels are adjacent and on both side of the Cher river. This solution provides him also flexibility and security as if climates conditions are not optimal on one side, the other bank is not usually exposed to that. It diversifies the terroirs and narrow down the exposition to environmental risks.
Bruno feels now more than ever in a good set up to move onto the path he chose: a family run winery, dedicated to a sustainable and organic approach, while always being connected with his team and keep human relationship first and foremost.
To sum up, his phase one resided into turning the family business into a sustainable winery while sizing it down to reach new heights in term of quality, both human and product.
Now that he set up and updated with the newest eco-friendly machineries, Bruno claim that his new challenge to finish the conversion and obtaining the Organic certification. Since he stopped all chemical fertilizer and the use of synthetic product since he took over in 1992, he was already the HVE certification from the French ministry of agriculture. He follows the natural path, applying nonsystematic intervention and adapted to each parcels and terroirs.
For him, he wants each terroirs and his wines to shine as his vinification are very gentle and with lowest amount of human intervention. The wine should mature as his vines in a clean and stress free environment.