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Le CLOS DES FEES - Herve Bizeul

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Herve Bizeul from Clos des fees, a key figure in Roussillon.

Herve Bizeul : "CLOS DES FEES is a vineyard where the fairies would live, if they existed. The place is very isolated, very beautiful, very wild, very romantic and inspired us this name."

herve-bizeul-clos-des-feesHerve Bizeul never thought he would become winemaker. He worked as a sommelier, restaurateur and writer, and in 1997 with no financial means but lots of hope, he decided to settle at the foot of the blue cliffs of Vingrau.

He begins to vinify with a friend the few hectares of vines that he owns. Good communication skills and great winemaker, this enthusiast is soon discovered by wine lovers (even if it is "only" in Roussillon, not highly rated at the time!) and critics too. Clos des Fees expands to cover 30 hectares of vineyards and 40 hectares of olive trees, on a wide variety of soils, making the Roussillon reputation today.

The vines are very scattered and this specificity has contributed to the success of the estate: Herve Bizeul says "it is for us one of the keys to the quality of our wines." The diversity of the soil makes it possible to obtain unique wines, each representing a terroir. Indeed, the estate has a hundred parcels spread over a dozen different soils, mostly clay-limestone.

Clos des Fees has built its reputation on the exceptional quality and regularity of its wines, above all a titanic work in the vine. Herve Bizeul has set up a complete ecosystem on his vineyard (a hundred hectares), which allows a great biodiversity (many species are present, not only vine stocks!). And thus microorganisms beneficial to the vine have developed: fauna and flora are essential to the life of the soil.

The grape varieties are made up mainly of autochthonous grape varieties: syrah, grenache, carignan and mourvedre for the reds. For white, white Grenache is used 90% with a complement of gray Grenache.

The plots are conducted in sustainable agriculture. An important observation work, and a manual plowing is carried out on the whole vineyard. Chemical treatments do not exist at Clos des Fées. To energize and revitalize its soils, Herve Bizeul uses amendments and horse manure.

The grapes are harvested at perfect maturity. The vinifications are precise and rigorous. The grapes are carefully sorted and destemmed and then placed in a tank at low temperature (for better extraction of flavors). In order to homogenize its different cuvees and to extract a maximum of coloring matter, pigeage and pumping up are carried out every day during the period of alcoholic fermentation.

Since a few vintages, the best cuvees are aged in a reasonable percentage in new barrels (after some abuses in the past ...) to obtain powerful wines, with a mature character, while maintaining a superb balance and freshness.

You must discover the Clos des Fees with the "entry level" wine, Les Sorcieres (Grenache and Carignan), already impressive in the great vintages such as 2010. Then go to Vieilles Vignes, red and white, aged in barrels and made from a wide variety of ancestral grape varieties. Finally, the wine with great ageing potential, Le Clos des Fees makes it possible to discover rare aromas and complexity in Roussillon, thanks to the great classics syrah, grenache, carignan and mourvedre. In the great years, the rare "Petite Siberie" is a micro-cuvee out of the common, by its low production as its selling price.

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