The respect of the "Climats": authenticity, integrity and personality
"Simplex Natura", Nature is simple
Learning and understanding the terroir in order to enhance its expression
The Clos du Cellier
aux Moines is a Premier Cru Classé in Givry which today covers 13.5 hectares,
rather less than the 336 ouvrées (an
old unit of measurement that corresponded to the area that could be hoed in one
day) that were registered at its sale by the government on June 26, 1791 to
Jean Claude Martin and his partner Vivant Millard. In 1834 and 1835, Hector
Granjon, a magistrate and the son-in-law of Jean Claude Martin sold off
sections of the lower part of the Clos, corresponding to 190 ouvrées, or slightly more than 8
hectares. He kept five hectares of vines, the central and upper parts of the
Clos, and some woods and fallow land.
The lower part of the Clos is currently owned by the Domaines of Joblot and Thénard.
The Domaine du Cellier aux Moines owns 4.7 hectares of perfectly oriented Premier Cru planted around the original Cellier, and 27 ares (2,700m2 or about two thirds of an acre) in a small enclosed area surrounded by very thick walls, which had been left fallow since the phylloxera crisis that decimated Givry's vineyards at the end of the 19th century.
To understand this exceptional clay-limestone climat, ideal for the beautiful, sleek expression of Pinot Noir, vinification has been carried out on a plot-by-plot basis since the 2007 vintage with yearly methodical observation of the vines' performance.
Notable differences were observed
between the central part, and the upper part, resulting in the pulling up and
replanting of the upper part with recognized selections of "fins" and
"très fins" Pinot Noir on rootstock suited to the very pebbly soil
rich in active limestone. The first vines replanted in spring 2008 produced
grapes for vinification in 2012 and the results were very encouraging for the
Some of the old vines planted between 1975 and 1985 were kept in the central part of the Clos, where the clay-limestone soil is finer and sits on layers of limestone marl.
We have now established that within the same terroir, on the same hillside benefiting from the same amounts of sunshine and rain, the subsoil is a key factor, depending on whether the vines' roots descend into the limestone rock or into the more clayey marl. The choice and the management of the vines must be adapted accordingly. After centuries of erosion, the lower part of the Cellier benefits from richer, deeper soil, and is more sensitive to the frost which comes down the hills. The higher part is windier and dries quickly after rain, thereby reducing the risk of rot; this means that we can wait longer if necessary for the grapes to reach perfect ripeness before harvesting.
Only a precise knowledge of these exceptional climats, in an ongoing learning process, and a constant questioning of the best way to treat the vines, enables us to enhance their expression with each vintage.