Château Tourril – France
Their wines are crazy !
Best options to pair with your food are here and did I mention they are becoming fully organic?
If you are an importer looking for high end sector wines very good in restaurants and not only, you are in the right place!
Interview of Stephane Kandler, Owner of Château Tourril AsiaImportNews – Exclusive
Could you please tell us the story of your winery, when it was created and how it developed decades after decades ?
At the origin of Château Tourril is an ancient gallo-roman signal tower, located on the top of the 13 hectares family vineyard, which is nested in a clay-limestone corrie surrounded by Mediterranean “guarrigue” that protects the vines from dominant winds and frost.
It lays between the famous 1000 years old fortified city of Carcassonne and the Canal du Midi, both on UNESCO’s World Heritage list.
Thanks to important investments over 20 years, the vineyard has full control of its production with modern winemaking technology and sustainable agriculture. Stephan Kandler, from the second generation of the family, has taken over the management in 2014 and carries on the family tradition; but his experience in international high-level sporting events, including the America’s Cup, and high-tech projects, now helps the company to grow worldwide.
He is now converting the vineyard to organics production.
What sort of wines are you producing ?
Château Tourril produces high quality AOC Minervois wines from our Syrah, Cinsault, 100 years old Carignan, Grenache and Roussanne grapes.
Our wine grower and oenologist are fully dedicated to produce authentic and quality long lasting food wines: rich and concentrated reds, a light and fresh rosé, a white with a unique taste. We select the best grape lots in order to offer wines that respect the local millenary winemaking tradition, express the specificity of our soil and reflect the weather conditions between land and sea.
How important are your export distribution compared to national distribution ?
Export has risen from 5 to 40% of our sales in less than 3 years with a strong focus on Asia and the US. We are clearly pushing the export sales and we plan to grow up further. We believe there is a strong demand for quality French artisan wines and we want to become a big player on this specific market.
What sort of distributors are your customers ?
Usually we start with a local importer who is interested to push a new winery and we give him a lot of support. We know it is a hard choice for him so we understand we need to help him to sell our wines. We also believe that one of the main strength of our type of winery is to offer a real story with people behind it. We are not just a brand. I travel 6 months per year to visit my customers and it works. We work with importers that are mainly focusing on Horeca and selected distribution because we believe that our wines fit well within this category.
Why your wines are different from other wineries in your area ?
We strongly believe in the “sharing experience” and food wines. Wine is a pillar of gastronomy and the best way to share with others. This is why we welcome our visitors for free tasting all year round in our unique cellar located inside the tower boasting 360° views and decorated with contemporary paintings and sculptures. We like to create culinary partnerships, such as the one with France’s best cheese monger Xavier, or the Cheese Week New York (that is taking place as we speak), we offer new tasting formats (WIT, KuB) and we share all our news and events we attend on the web and social networks. Our wines have received prestigious awards worldwide proving their capacity to fit to a very wide public.
Do you produce grapes in a organic or environmental friendly method, or with general methods ?
We have always used sustainable methods to produce our wines. Since 2016 I have decided to start our conversion to 100% organic production because we believe it is better for the taste of the wine, the consumer and the environment. I think that in a very near future, consumers will not drink non-organic wines anymore.
Are your wines already distributed in Asia, and if not what are the countries you are looking for new distributors ?
We are already distributed in China, Korea, Singapore and Japan but we are currently negotiating to grow all around Asia, in countries such as Malaysia, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand etc. Asian countries have a natural culture for sophisticated food, which I think is fundamental to make it successful for wine. France is the leader of fine wines because there is a strong gastronomy and a long history of food and wine pairing. This is why we believe and invest so much in Asia. On top of that, our wines are fitting very well with sweet&sour or spicy food.
Is there anything you want to add about your wines, story or any news ?
As said earlier, we produce wine on a land, which has been producing wines since 2000 years and we are proud of this heritage. One of the reasons for this long history in Languedoc is the close presence of the sea, which has enabled the region to export its production. This link between land and sea is also part of our family’s history, as we have been involved in many high level sailing projects in the past, including a participation in the America’s Cup, the most prestigious sailing race in the world. The characteristics of our wines are marked by this particular link. From the sailing competition world we have also kept a natural taste for innovation in our products. This is why we are using and promoting new ways of consumption like the Wine In Tube (WIT) or the Wine KuB, an aesthetic eco-friendly and fair trade produced rechargeable wooden “Bag In Box”. Made by disabled people close to the vineyard, it is not only recyclable but also beautiful on a table to share with friends! Sharing is what puts our wines at their best!
Thank you Mr. Stephane Kandler, Owner of Château Tourril for your answers !
For all importers
Winery Château Tourril www.chateautourril.fr/