Learn about one of Napa Valley’s emerging stars!

Benoit is a star on the rise in the wine world and is devoted to continuing the tradition of producing wines of distinction and acclaim. 

“For me it’s all about the mindset, about what kind of freedom you’re going to get. I’m the kind of person who likes to build something, not just maintain it.” ~ Benoit Touquette

benoit1When his dream of being a fighter pilot in the French army fizzled because of a medical test, Benoit Touquette tried his hand working at an auto body shop, in road construction and even in banking alongside his father. But when he got a job with a mobile bottling line in Bordeaux, he was introduced to the wine business and his career choice started to crystallize.  While working toward his Masters diplomas in both Chemistry and Oenology from the University of Bordeaux, Benoit worked at several French wineries in a production capacity (including Chateau La Louviere and Chateau Couhins-Lurton). His experience made two things clear to him: he didn’t want to work in Bordeaux, where opportunities were limited if you weren’t born into a wine family; he did want to be involved with making high end, limited production wines, wherever that might take him.

Upon graduation, with the help of his friend and mentor Michel Rolland, Benoit got a job with winemaking consultant Andy Erickson in California helping create some of the best wines in Napa Valley including Screaming Eagle, Ovid, Arietta and others. Eventually he formed his own consulting business and currently Benoit Touquette makes wine for a number of different projects, including Realm, Jack Quinn and Hartwell, as well as his own label Fait Main and sister wine Teeter Totter.

“Having tasted a number of Touquette’s wines over the last year, it is pretty clear he is one of the emerging stars in Napa Valley.”    ~ Antonio Galloni 

Under his cheerful appearance Benoit captivates people with his passion and work ethic, something that Andy Erickson and Michel Rolland have understood. “Benny” is a young man who is about to climb into the highest echelons of Napa Valley wine stardom. This is not because the rabble-rouser “Benny” does not take himself too seriously… We should consider his wines with the attention that they deserve greater. So, the word is out and some of us have already have a chance to taste the wine.

Born in Lyon, France winemaker Benoit Touquette holds a Master of Science of Chemistry and one of Enology from University of Bordeaux. He has worked at several Bordeaux wineries including Chateau La Louviere and Chateau Couhins-Lurton. Formerly working under Andy Erikson at various wineries such as Screaming Eagle, Ovid, and Arietta, Benoit is currently the winemaker for Realm Cellars, Hartwell, and David Beckstoffer’s new project, Kata. 

2013 Familiar Air

Cabernet Sauvignon  |  Napa Valley  |  Order Online

Familiar Air Cabernet 2013Wine Spectrum 95+: The inaugural release of this new label, a collaboration between Benoit Touquette (of Realm, Hartwell & Teeter Totter) and Kimberly Jones.  This deep fully extracted Cabernet bursts from the glass with blackberries and cassis dominating the palate with a hint of chocolate. Adding 16% Cab Franc and 4% Petit Verdot gives this Cabernet Sauvignon fantastic structure. The fruit comes from many of the best vineyards in Oakville, St. Helena, and Calistoga. A wonderfully integrated wine that coats the palate.  Only 168 cases made.

2013 Teeter Totter

Chardonnay  |  Carneros  |  Order Online

T4562Wine Spectrum 94: The inaugural vintage of Benoit’s Teeter-Totter Chardonnay is sourced from the Carneros area of Napa Valley. Aged in 45% new oak, with 2/3rds malolactic fermentation, this Chardonnay is rich and creamy, yet balanced, elegant and easy to drink. 700 cases produced.

We took our time releasing our first Teeter-Totter Chardonnay, and we think you’ll agree it’s worth the wait. Bright yellow with a faint green tint, this wine hooks you in with aromas of toast, honey, and baked Golden apples on the nose. Buttered popcorn and brioche make their entrance next, with a side of fresh lemon custard that’s creamy and bright at the same time. Biscuits and citrus peel carry the finish, which unfolds at its own deliciously slow pace. Bottom line: this wine is rich, smooth and sexy—and it knows it.

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