The first generation
Alfred Beurdin set about cultivating 2.50 hectares in 1935; back then, they were planted with Sauvignon vines with riparia rootstock. His vines were well situated and he worked them with a horse hitched to plough or hoe, depending on season. They were earthed up in winter and de-earthed in spring. Vines were less prone to disease than they are nowadays.
Lifting and cropping were done by hand. As the old saying goes, “there’s nothing beats pruning in March”, so pruning was carried out in February/March. All baguettes (canes) were attached with wicker, while shorter shoots were bound together and served as firewood.
Alfred harvested his crop by hand, and the fruit was put in 600-litre wooden barrels and transported to the era’s traditional press by horse and cart.
The second generation
Alfred was passionate about the art of vine and wine, and passed his passion on to his son Henri. When he was 14 and could finally leave school, Henri made a start on his working life, taking his father’s place in the vineyard as the latter had been called up to fight in the Second World War. These were tiring times for him, working up to 10 hours a day.
Sundays were no days of rest either, as the horses had to be shoed. In those days, horses were your workmates and represented major investments. After completing his military service, Henri started planting a few more vines, renting a 1.80-hectare plot from a winegrower who was about to retire. In those days, a good deal of work was done on the soil at the foot of the vines: in winter, vines were “earthed up”, their feet hidden beneath the soil, and in spring they were “de-earthed”. Arounds 1963, he purchased a manor in Preuilly dating from 1878 and gradually set about enlarging and modernising the estate. His father Alfred gave him his first horizontal press – a great improvement, enabling wine to be made as grapes were harvested; equipment began to replace human endeavour, sending the juice into large barrels and then into vats.
For several years, the grape-harvesting team consisted of a dozen or so people from the village. Around 1990, though, the vineyard mechanic who oversaw the estate tried using harvesting machines instead; we finally adopted this system some time ago and are fully satisfied with it.
Henri has seen his profession evolve, as, from pruning to harvesting and from harvesting to sale, success depends on the decisions he takes. Despite everything, though, he’s still a little wary of the weather – frost, hail, not enough sunlight, too much rain! But after all, what profession doesn’t have its hazards…?
The third generation
In his turn, he has passed on his love of the vine to his son, Jean-Louis, who now continues working the estate and is determined to keep up his father’s tradition.
In 1994, Henri and his son established a Société Civile D'exploitation Viticole (SCEV –Winegrowing Partnership).
Jean-Louis elaborates his wines, reflections of his passion and knowhow, and even has renovation projects in the pipeline, along with plans to enlarge the wine storehouse and create a room dedicated to his grandfather and father.
As far as work in the wine storehouse is concerned, Jean-Louis has chosen to stick to traditional methods. He vinifies his wines, and personally oversees the whole process from vinification to bottling and labelling, ensuring that you are provided with the very best of his products.
The estate lies in the municipality of Preuilly and has 4 permanent employees who work as a team.
A protected designation of origin (PDO/AOC), Reuilly is a wine that was matured, analysed and tasted by professionals and qualified oenologists long before it found its way onto your tables and into your glasses.