Domaine Philippe Tessier began in 1960 when Philippe’s father, Roger Tessier, began planting vines among his asparagus farm. In 1981, Philippe joined his father and eventually took over the domaine expanding it to 24 hectares spread over two appellations, Cheverny and Cour-Cheverny. After 15 years of traditional viticulture, Philippe began transitioning the vineyards to strict organic viticulture. By 1998 the domaine was farming using only organic methods and in 2002 became Ecocert certified.
Tessier farms a handful of grape varieties including Sauvignon, Chardonnay, de Orbois, Pinot Noir, Gamay, and of course Romorantin which is the only white grape variety allowed in the tiny appellation Cour-Cheverny (only 48 hectares in size). The domaine is currently split evenly to 50 percent white and 50 percent red grape varieties.
All vineyard work at the domaine is done meticulously and by hand. Philippe believe’s the quality of his wines depends on the quality of his grapes. This mindset flows naturally into his cellar as he uses native yeasts and does not fine or filter his red wines. For his white wines, he allows malolactic fermentation to complete naturally, does not fine, and only applies a light filtration if necessary. Vinification and élevage takes place in a combination of barrique, demi-muids, fiberglass, and a small amount of stainless steel depending on the grape variety. While easily overlooked, Domaine Philippe Tessier is a phenomenal example of why the wines of Cheverny and Cour-Cheverny can be all stars in the stellar line up of appellations which lie in the Loire Valley.