Brendan Tracey

Brendan Tracey The ClashBrendan Tracey epitomizes the DIY (Do It Yourself) ethic we love. Born in New Jersey to a French mother, he went to high school in France. His path to becoming a winemaker began when he was 15. He was visiting his Aunt Geneviève, who worked as a journalist for Le Figaro. She took him to a restaurant and asked him what he wanted to drink. He said, a Coke. She said he was in France and had to order wine.

Brendan, though, didn’t become a winemaker overnight. In the late 70s, he lived in San Francisco and sang in punk bands. In 1981, he helped launch a local FM station in Blois. After years of working as a DJ, Program Director, and as a news reporter, he fell hard for natural wine and abandoned his almost 30-year career to study winemaking at the Lycée Viticole in Amboise.

Brendan also had the good fortune to apprentice with Thierry Puzelat, a pioneer of natural, organic winemaking in France. Philippe Tessier has also been an inspiration, especially in terms of his white wines.

He launched his own winery in 2010. “Each year,” he says, “each variety, terroir and climatic situation imposes decisions on the way grapes are grown, harvested and fermented.” You can see in his labels, and in the wines themselves, that Brendan’s punk-rock attitude is still alive and kicking.