is an inventor and visionary. He arrived in Saint Emilion in 1984 from the Dordogne to work in a bank. However, he soon left his job to open a restaurant and then a wine shop with his wife, Murielle. It was only a short step from distributing wine to producing it in 1989 for this inventive pied noir who grew up in Mascara, in French colonial Algeria. He borrowed money to buy a tiny 0.60 hectare plot (smaller than a football pitch) in the Fongaban Valley. He produced his first wine there, just 1,280 bottles, in 1991. He called it Château Valandraud and it received great acclaim almost immediately. With it was born the concept of "garage wines", i.e. a completely artisanal approach to winemaking – hand harvesting and sorting, pigeage (punching down the cap), fermentation entirely in new oak barrels, etc. – all done in a garage!

It might be said that the originality of Jean-Luc Thunevin's wines is due to a lack of money to begin with. Necessity is the mother of invention... and the end result received rave reviews from experienced tasters and critics. Furthermore, the success did not end there, because Valandraud was classified a Saint Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé in 2012 However, Jean-Luc has not let success go to his head. He has stayed outgoing, humble, and always ready to embark on a new adventure. The Winemaker’s Collection challenge is very much in keeping with his passion. I have no doubt whatsoever that this cuvée will reflect his character: inventive, surprising, and audacious.

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