Domaine de la Petite Tuile

Year Established: 2016
Location: Gaillac
Size: 6 hectares
Varieties: Loin de L’oeil, Mauzac, Braucol, Duras
Viticulture: Organic (certified in 2019), biodynamic practices
Vinification: Minimal sulfur additions, indigenous yeasts

Domaine de la Petite Tuile extends over 6 hectares on the hillsides of the right bank of the Tarn river in Gaillac, the oldest wine region in France. The estate enjoys clay-limestone soils and a diversity of exposures as well as mild, rainy springs and the late sun of Mediterranean summers. The name of the estate derives from its ancient place-name, “Téoulet”, which means “Petite Tuile” (little tile) in the langue d’Oc. Clemence and Clement Debord (yes, you read that correctly) farm their vines organically and do all their weeding by hand. The vines have belonged to Clemence’s family for generations, and the young couple is committed to the conservation of the local Gaillac grape varieties Loin de L’oeil, Mauzac, Braucol, and Duras. They make the wines in tanks (stainless steel, concrete, fiberglass) and upright barrels (big and small, all used). The simple techniques they use are reflective of the hard work they do in the vineyards – by the time the grapes get to the winery, the work is mostly done, and very little intervention is needed. Their Braucol is textbook – it’s a floral bouquet of strawberries and coffee, tobacco planted in black earth. Tasting a wine like this makes you wonder how many other little-known local varieties are out there, waiting to be experienced.