Originally from Pierres Dorées in southern Beaujolais, and son of a winegrower, it was in 2008 that Paul-Henri Thillardon settled alone, at the age of 22, in the Chénas appellation. An ambitious project but which today is rewarded, because Paul-Henri Thillardon is one of the big names in his region.
The Thillardon estate, a family story
In addition to being ambitious, Paul-Henri Thillardon has convictions , and as soon as he settles in the estate, he works and leads his vineyard in organic farming. It was in 2012 that he decided to buy the Chassignol estate, also located in the Chénas appellation. On the Chénas appellation, he therefore cultivates on four different soils: Les Carrières, Chassignol, Les Blémonts and Les Boccards. Passionate about his land, he also operates vines in the Chiroubles appellation, Moulin à Vent, and a little land in his native country, Beaujolais Sud des Pierres Dorées.
An emancipation that leads Paul-Henri Thillardon to grow. The estate then becomes the Domaine Thillardon, because it is in the family that the expansion takes place. There is therefore Charles, brother of Paul-Henri Thillardon, who joined the adventure in 2014, then their little brother Jean-Baptiste in 2017, and their sister Aude in 2018.
Biodiversity in the vineyards
Today, the Thillardon estate in Chénas has 12 hectares on different soils, and it is conducted in biodynamic farming.
There is, in the Thillardon family, a real investment in the respect of the environment and in the development of their land. They therefore decided to reintegrate the animals into the heart of the estate. You will find there cows, horses, poultry, pigs, beehives and many other living beings. In the same process, Paul-Henri Thillardon and his family, curious and ready to choose the best for their vines, decided to surround them with hedges, and to plant trees on Chassignol. It is therefore a whole biodiversity that settles around the vines, a real biological reservoir.
Planting plants also means providing protection to the vines, they serve as a shield against the wind, for example. To remain in this approach of respect for the environment, the Thillardon estate plows its soil with the estate's horses.
The harvest is carried out manually, in 20kg boxes. The box of grapes are cooled in a cold room, in order to reach temperatures between 7 and 10 degrees, and thus keep all the freshness of the grapes when they are picked. As in the vineyard, in the cellar, the Thillardon estate is the least interventionist possible. There is no input, vinification is destemmed for the emblematic bottles of the Thillardon estate, maceration between 15 and 28 days depending on the bottle, vertical pressing. As for the aging, it is carried out in concrete vats. The set offers you pure Gamay juice!
The wines of Chénas, Moulin à Vent and Beaujolais
The Chénas appellation, somewhat neglected by the great winegrowers of the region, is coming back into fashion thanks to Paul-Henri Thillardon!
The Epi-curieux.com team would like to thank him, because as a fan of the Gamay grape variety, this gives us the opportunity to present wines to you, both of great finesse and of great complexity.
On the Chénas appellation, in the area of La Chapelle-de-Guinchay, Paul-Henri Thillardon offers his bottle Les Carrières 2020-2021. The vines of this bottle are planted on an old alluvial quarry (do you understand the reference to the name?), on a hillside facing south, all on a flint soil. A Gamay full of finesse, chiseled, and all in delicacy.
Still on the Chénas appellation, the Thillardon estate offers the Vibrations 2020 bottle. This bottle is a blend of several old vines, all vinified by carbonic maceration, granite soils, quartz, alluvium. This diversity brings a beautiful complexity to the natural wine, a “vibrant” aromatic palette.
For the Chassignol 2020 bottle, the Thillardon estate takes us directly to the town of Chénas. La Chassignol is an emblematic bottle, because it is located on a steep hillside, where the work of the horse is compulsory. Granite soil larded with quartz, vinified naturally, here is a very great bottle of Chénas for the finest gourmets of Gamay, and more!
Paul-Henri Thillardon also takes us to the Moulin à Vent appellation, with the Alizés 2021 bottle. A Moulin à Vent blend of soils, a natural wine to follow over the years, but already delicious today; silky, balanced. All of a very nice Gamay.
Paul-Henri Thillardon was not going to leave his native lands aside! On the Pierres Dorées, in southern Beaujolais, the Thillardon estate produces a white bottle; the Cuvee Georges 2020. Harvested on clay-limestone soil, this bottle from the Thillardon estate offers a lot of minerality, and a nice tension.