In the natural wine movement, the Loire Valley is a pioneering region, and Claude Courtois has been a historical figure since the early 1990s, both essential and marginal.
From his first vines in Provence in the 1980s to the creation in 1992 of his Les Cailloux du Paradis estate in the Loire Valley, in Soings-en-Sologne (Loir-et-Cher) on the borders of Sologne and Touraine, Claude Courtois has established himself as a key figure in natural wine because he has never wavered from his total and uncompromising commitment as a farmer who respects the life of the soil and biodiversity. But he is also a marginal figure, having had his own fair share of problems with the wine authorities, because he manages his estate his farm, with animals, fields, orchards, and woods – outside the constraints of AOC, with many grape varieties, the traditional grapes of the region (Sauvignon, Menu Pineau, Romorantin, Gamay, Côt, Cabernet Franc) but also unusual or little-known varieties, such as Gascon (originating in Yonne, like the winemaker)… and a few others.
During the 2010s, Etienne Courtois, Claude's youngest son, gradually took over the reins of Les Cailloux du Paradis without changing anything in the philosophy of the estate.
From 1998, Julien Courtois, Claude's eldest son, created with his partner Heidi Kuka his own estate, Le Clos de la Bruyère, in the same village of Soings-en-Sologne. The vineyard has 5 hectares also clay-siliceous, with typical Loire grape varieties, and the same philosophy of totally natural work.
Singular, sometimes “atypical”, even disconcerting in the absolute sincerity of their production, such are the wines of Courtois family.