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Domaine des Bérioles - 'Trésaille' - Tressalier - St. Pourçain, Loire Valley, FR - 2020
Domaine des Bérioles - 'Trésaille' - Tressalier - St. Pourçain, Loire Valley, FR - 2020
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Domaine des Bérioles - 'Trésaille' - Tressalier - St. Pourçain, Loire Valley, FR - 2020

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Tréssallier is a local varietal unique to Saint Pourçain which is at risk of being pulled out and replaced by more internationally-known grape varieties. Domaine des Bérioles is determined to preserve Tréssallier and to make wines that demonstrate its full potential.

Size: 1.5 ha (3.7 ac)
Variety: Tréssallier
Vine Age: Planted between 1994 and 2010
Terroir: Blend of parcels in Cesset and Saulcet, clay-limestone soils, southeastern exposure.
Viticulture: Organic (certified, 2019)
Vinification: Pneumatically pressed, cold maceration at 9°C. Temperature-controlled ambient yeast fermentation (13-17°C). Aged 5-8 months on the lees in concrete tank.

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Domaine des Bérioles is located next to the Saint Barthélémy chapel in the small town of Saint Pourçain. Historically, Saint Pourçain was surrounded by vineyards: around 2,000 hectares (4,942 acres) which were planted with vines. Today, there are a total of 600 hectares (1,482 acres). Most of these grapes are of conventional viticulture that are harvested by machine and brought to the local vigneron cooperative. There are just 17 independent vignerons and only 25 hectares are harvested by hand in the appellation.

In 1989, Odile and Olivier Teissèdre acquired the Clos des Bérioles, a vineyard originally planted in 1809. The family domaine started out with 3 hectares of vines located on clay-limestone slopes. Olivier loved working in the vines but instead of vinifying and bottling under his own name, he set up a contract with the cooperative.
His son, Jean Teissèdre, decided to take on the family vineyards, studying viticulture and enology in Mâcon, then furthered his experience by seeking out other viticulture and vinification experience in Burgundy, Beaujolais, and Sancerre before returning home to Saint Pourçain. In 2010, the family’s contract with the Saint Pourçain cooperative ended, and Jean decided not to renew it. Instead, he laid the groundwork for the construction of their own cellar and buying an additional 4 hectares of vineyards. The cellar was finished in 2011, when they first vinified for their own label.

Today, the domaine’s total surface area is 7 hectares, with both white and red grape varieties. They have 3 hectares of Chardonnay and 1.5 hectares of Tréssallier, a rare white variety. Only 30 hectares of Trésaillier exist in the world and the majority are in Saint Pourçain. Considering Jean’s experience in the Beaujolais and Burgundy, it is unsurprising that the domaine’s red varieties are planted on specific terroirs: Gamay on granite and Pinot Noir on clay and limestone soils.
2014 marked the next major change when Jean’s sister Sophie moved back to Saint Pourçain with her husband Jérôme. They had both already honed their experience and knowledge in the wine business in the Côtes du Rhône, so it was only logical to bring them on board. These days, Jean is primarily in charge of vineyard work, Jérôme in charge of vinification, and Sophie manages and fulfills administrative duties and sales.
Since taking on his parents’ vineyards, Jean has focused on improving the domaine’s viticultural practices. He started by regularly plowing the soils, and he is now slowly converting to organic viticulture, with certification expected for 2019. Moving forward, he also participates in biodynamic training sessions with the Massons and has already incorporated biodynamic infusions of rhubarb, meadowsweet, horsetail, and comfrey into his viticultural methods to reduce the need for copper treatments.

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