Philippe may well have grown up in Sedan, he has always thought of himself as a child of the South. His parents, originally from the South of France, having landed in the Ardennes for their work – they own a chocolate shop. Emerging from adolescence, in 1983, the young Philippe chose to train in winegrowing and found himself in Hyères. Why that course? Because a real-life project was waiting for him. He had been thinking for some time about taking over the vineyard that his mother had inherited in the 1960s, situated in Cuers in Provence, between Toulon and Brignoles.
Philippe Benezet worked for 7 years to be ready to take over the property. He accumulated experience in the Var and in the Bouches-du-Rhône and launched in 1990, at not even 30 years of age! Youth facilitates many things: the vineyard seriously needed to be taken in hand, there were renovations to be done, and as for the cellar … there wasn’t one ! The grapes had, until then, been taken to the municipal co-operative. So Philippe carried on in the same way until he was ready. In 1994, he was free. No contract with the co-operative cellar, and finally tooled up to make his own wine.
The first vintages were classics, but he quickly discovered natural wine and developed a passion for these methods of vinification. Not easy … he realized that he needed to work more, to be more vigilant with his 20 hectares, his terroir. The fear of losing control over his wine is there, but Philippe Benezet hangs on and develops with the idea of introducing a minimum of sulphites into his wines. Grape sorting becomes increasingly strict but, on the vine, he still uses chemistry, albeit moderately. At the beginning of the 2000s he moved on to a new stage. The conversion of the entire domain to Organic Agriculture is official.
The road that has been travelled for 30 years has made Philippe Benezet, of the Domaine Turenne in Cuers, a proud man. He says that he has today found the right formula: healthy, organic grapes, native yeasts, almost no sulphites and, above all, wines that best express themselves. We confirm.