Wine People: Benoit Touquette of Fait Main & Teeter Totter

Posted by CJ Lin on

People always love inspiring human stories.  Benoit Touquette, a Frenchman, who is currently one of Napa's rising star, who makes and owns Fait Main and sister wine Teeter-Totter.  

"I don’t want anything handed to me, I want to take it. It’s only when you push yourself to the edge that you find out what you are truly capable of." quoted from Benoit Touquette.

'Fait Main' means 'Hand-made' in French.  Benoit believes in very hard working for what you like and what you want.

Benoit did not start his wine career easily.  Originally, he dreamt to be a French pilot or engineer but failed the medical test. Then he started working in several hand-working jobs to pay for his graduate school, like auto shop, road construction and even banking, until he found a job in Bordeaux for a mobile bottling lines. That's how he discovered his passion in winemaking.  He shifted his focus of Master diploma studies to the University of Bordeaux for Chemistry and Oenology, and, at the same time, he worked at several chateaux, including Chateau La Louviere and Chateau Couhins-Lurton for winemaking experiences.  During his works in the wineries of Bordeaux, he found that Bordeaux had very limited opportunities if you were not from wine family. That's when he decided to come to California.

After the graduation, Benoit left Bordeaux to California with the help of his mentor, Michel Rolland, and worked under Andy Erickson who was the winemaker of Screaming Eagle at the time. Benoit later also helped in making several legendary wines such as Ovid, Arietta, Realm, Jack Quinn, Kata, & Hartwell, etc. 

Now, eventually, Benoit create his own label, Fait Main, and sister wine Teeter Totter, and all of these wines are in limited production. 

And, this is how Benoit explained why he started his own label - "I worked hard, learned from everyone, and pushed myself to deliver the kind of winemaking I believe in. I’ve never missed a picking day, and I’ll spend as much time as it takes to get the wines right. I started Fait-Main because I fell in love with a vineyard… and then another, and another. Shauna saves me from myself.".



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