A note from the owner and winemaker, Evelyne de Pontbriand
“My approach to winemaking is as a terroir wine producer. Les vins Domaine du Closel is certified in organic viticulture by “Ecocert” since 2006. My priority is to maintain the natural balance of my surroundings and bring the vines to express our beautiful world heritage landscape. Our vines are farmed without stress. All the environment is taken care of with that aim in mind. Microbial life of the soil is fully respected, insects and birds are in a perfect balance. A unique combination of soil, climate, traditions and our perfectly adapted varietal—chenin blanc is there to produce wine for pleasure, gastronomy, refinement.
Walking around my vineyards and tasting the ripening grapes in September enables me not only to plan our harvest strategy, but also to discover the amazing variety in taste from one parcel to the other. It is this diversity and complexity of aromas that I am looking for
Be they dry, off-dry, sweet or sparkling, our wines bear all of the dynamism of their noble terroir, expressing grace and finesse. This is what I consider true elegance and biodiversity.
A diverse selection of rare and organic wines
13 of our 16 hectares of vines are planted with chenin blanc, designated for Savennières AOC production. Our flagship wine is our Clos du Papillon. Nonetheless, we pride our self on our wide selection of white, red and sparkling wines, including three single-vineyard Savennières (“Clos du Papillon”, “Les Caillardières”, and “La Jalousie”), Anjou Rouge “Une Emotion”, Anjou-Villages, Cabernet d’Anjou “La Tentation”, and Crémant de Loire “Brut Sauvage”. “
Evelyne’s mother, Michèle de Jessey, was a formidable character in the appellation of Savennières. Her great-great-grandfather was the Chamberlain and Chief Memorialist to the Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. She inherited the estate in 1961 when her aunt, Madame du Closel, the former proprietor/winemaker, searched for a successor throughout her extensive family. Madame de Jessey was chosen for her love and respect for the wine, vineyards and traditions of Savennières: a love that is evident in her wines. She went on to become much respected for her technical expertise and served as the first woman in France to be President of an Appellation Contrôlée. Evelyne de Pontbriand took control of the estate over ten years ago and has continued making excellent Savennières that are true representations of their terroir.
The estate—historically the Château des Vaults and its lands—consists of 12 hectares of Chenin Blanc vines, 4 hectares of which are in the Clos du Papillon. The soil is shallow sandy topsoil on a deep bed of schist and volcanic rock. The vines are rigorously pruned to produce 4 to 6 buds on two canes. This keeps the yields low, from 20 to 40 hl/ha in any given vintage. The microclimate is defined by the protecting hillsides, and the best hilltop vineyards are exposed to high winds that keep the grapes cool and free of rot. The grapes are picked by hand under selection, or tri, and the vinification is slow under controlled temperatures. There is no doubt that, given the microclimate, soil and fruit produced, Savennières is overall the finest and most unique expression of Chenin Blanc sec in the world.
For more information, go to: www.savennieres-closel.com
or watch this video for an excellent interview.