Thierry Tastu started a second life 20 years ago. After a first position in the civil service for the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Montpellier where he made the whole region shine internationally, he took over the reins of the Domaine de Fontenelles on the death of his mother. He tells us about his reconversion to wine and tells us about his pride in working at the family estate to create Corbières wines in an environmentally friendly way.
At 63 years old today, my energy is still unfailing. Twenty years ago, I left my international career behind me to take over Domaine de Fontenelles from my mother's death.This estate located in Douzens, in the heart of the Corbières Appellation, on the famous Alaric mountain, has been a family story for 5 generations. My son, who is now a notary, would also like to take up the torch... and it will be done at his own pace and especially when he wants to!
The family is above all looking to perpetuate the estate... and it is not the old Carignan and mourvèdre vines, which my grandfather planted more than 80 years ago, that will say the contrary. I am very proud of these old vines, it is our family heritage.
When I took over the estate, I surrounded myself with the best partners for our different poles: oenology, bottling, logistics and marketing.I still work today with the same rigour as when I was at the Montpellier Chamber of Commerce and Industry, always favouring quality.Small yields, sustainable cultivation, manual harvesting, traceability ... We have made choices and we assume them. We want to give priority to respect for the environment and traditions, while still ensuring customer satisfaction. At Domaine de Fontenelles, for example, we have a very advanced approach with environmental certification such as ISO 26000, on the treatment of waste water. We were one of the first to implement it in the region, and the Alaric mountain makes us feel good about it. This terroir, very famous for its wines, offers to Domaine de Fontenelles (on 40 ha) 5 cuvées which regularly win world competitions, whether on the AOP Corbières or the IGP Côteaux de Miramont!
Another of my passions is travelling. It is therefore quite naturally that the estate has turned to export, which finally makes the presence of our wines in France rather rare, except on the Les Grappes website!On the other hand, throughout Europe, Russia, Japan, China, you will find Domaine de Fontenelles wines in the best wine shops and restaurants.
I have always travelled all over the world with the CCI of Montpellier. My wife Nelly, on the other hand, doesn't like it too much. Over time, I have therefore reduced my travels, but, I do not give up international travel for all that. In fact, my wife and I have set up rooms on the estate to welcome our guests. Today, it is the world that comes to visit us, and the art of hospitality is not an empty word at Fontenelles. Today, our new project is to enlarge the cellar and build a reception cellar to welcome groups of more than 20 people and thus share our passion with a larger number of people.
Stephanie (Les Grappes)
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