An interview with Adélaïde and Vincent Grall

July 16, 2021
Meet Adélaïde and Vincent, dedicated and passionate growers in their small domaine in Sancerre.

Have you always known that you would make wine for a living?

Vincent: No, I liked water sports (swimming, diving, kayak) and nature. I grew up in Sancerre, on the Loire river’s edge and I used to spend my free time helping my grandfather in the garden. My love of this job comes from the time I spent working with my uncles on their domain.

Adélaïde: No, I married the man and the job at the same time! I discovered this world which I liked, was closely aligned to my values and beliefs.

If you were not making wine for a living, what would you be doing?

Vincent: I would have loved to be an airplane pilot!

Adélaïde: I went to business school so all my skills are very useful to sell Vincent’s wines.

What is your first memory about wine?

Vincent: My grandfather was a winemaker so wine has always been part of my family. I don’t have a particular memory but I must have started by drinking the grape juice during harvest!

Adélaïde: When I was a student, I used to do the harvest during the summer.
I enjoyed the winemaker’s lifestyle and the wines. I discovered a love for the work and the philosophy that goes into a bottle of wine.

How would you describe your philosophy in 3 words?

Nature, respect of the land (the « terroir ») and biodiversity.

You work in a traditional way: handpicking, use of organic fertilizers, etc… Is that important to you?

Vincent: Yes, it is very important to me, first for my own health because I am on the vines all day, all year long but also for the health and sustainability of the vine itself.

Adélaïde: A wine, it is like a good meal, the basic ingredients used will assure its quality. Simplicity is my motto!

Can you explain the Sancerre terroir in a few words and what makes it so special?

Sancerre is located on a major geological fault, that’s what gives the unique terroir, a diversity of soils arranged like a ‘millefeuille’ along the Loire river: 80% are limestone and 20% flint. A richness which allows the diversity of wines found in the area, by the terroir they are from and the vinification.

What do you drink if it is not one of your own wines?

Vincent: Sancerre from my neighbour colleagues, and for red, I like Bordeaux.

Adélaïde: La LOIRE! For whites, Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin, for reds, Pinot Noir and sparkling to enjoy ourselves with the family.

The best way to taste / to enjoy your wine?

Simply, enjoy whilst having a good time with friends or family around a good meal.

Our first purchase from you was in 2004, so some of our customers might have some back vintages of Sancerre in their cellar. What is for you the best vintage you have ever made?

Adélaïde: For me, the best years are the ones characterised by minerality such as 2007, 2010, 2017 and 2019.

Can you tell us a funny story that imprinted your memory in your estate?

In 2018, Vincent bought a new 2000L wooden barrel to use for the cuvée Le Manoir. Arriving the first tasting, one month before bottling and blending this wine with the rest of the cuvée, we realised that the wine was tasting very differently and very good ! So we decided to bottle it on its own. We had to find a new name with our daughters. One of them cried out “call it ‘Le Grall’ and you can say to your client, don’t look further for the Graal (the Holy Grail), you found it !”. Hopefully, you will be able to find this new cuvée soon on Decorum’s portfolio!

Do you have some new projects, ambitions for the domaine?

Regarding wine, we have this new cuvée Tradition Calcaire which we plan to expend as we have planted for vines on limestone soils beginning 2020. This is totally new for us as we used to work on flint soils.
Regarding Oenotourism, we have launched a crowd founding project to rebuild a shack in the vine and hope to offer private tastings there from 2021 (hopefully, we will welcome some of Decorum’s customers).
Regarding our future, we hope that our son will carry on the family estate within the coming years, and we are also working to get the organic certification.

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