Reynald Héaulé started out in Accounting, then made the switch to winemaking. He worked at wineries in Burgundy, and then in the Loire, finally with the legend that is Claude Courtois, in Sologne. In 2000, he managed to rent 0.3 hectares of vineyards, and has been increasing his holdings ever since.
He farms organically, with vineyards around the village now totalling 3.5 hectares. The vines are close-planted, 12,500 vines per hectare. Incredibly, in this small space he is growing 15 different varieties, of which he planted himself. The soil types vary, depending on the vineyard; silica, sand and silex on the southern side of the Loire river, and clay, limestone and silica on the northern side.
The winemaking is done without the use of any additives except for tiny amounts of sulfites (~5-10mg/L, which is barely detectable). Reynald uses an old vertical press, and the wines are aged in old barrels, majority of them demi-muids. Élevage for most of his wines is 30 months. And because of this, the complexity found in these wines is incredible. These are wines that will grab your attention and make you beg for more.
The wines can be found mainly in Japan and Denmark, and with such tiny production and such huge demand, I am really grateful that Reynald was kind enough to provide me with an allocation of these outstanding wines for Australia. These are seriously complex and intriguing wines of amazing substance and character, and are not to be missed.