Between two huge Hellfest 2022 weekends, finally! – Discover the region of Nantes and Clisson. Clisson is a charming medieval town surrounded by vineyards. The site of one of the biggest music festivals in France can no longer grow because of the vines that surround it!
Three days of musical break for our ears allowed us to enjoy other senses: taste and smell. Because Clissonne is a wine-growing region, the flagship of which is Muscadet. We decided to discover one of the vintners of this famous appellation: Rémy Branger of Domaine de la Pépière.
Rémi takes us to the location in Mesdon-sur-Sèvres, located between Nantes and Clisson (Rock City!). His girlfriend Gwenael Croix is never far away and takes an active part in the delivery and reception. Because you have to keep the domain running while the other one is talking to bloggers!
Visiting the vineyards of the Domaine de la Pépière
We start the visit with a visit to a vineyard on one of the few sites in the immediate vicinity of the cellar. This year, 2022, losses are estimated to be relatively small, despite heat, frost and storms. The yield will probably be 10% less. Remy is relative compared to previous years, during which he lost up to 40%. Difficulties that arise sometimes give rise to beautiful stories of solidarity between growers, as evidenced by the Cuvée Merci. In 2021, La Pépière purchases wines from other winemakers to produce a special and exceptional cuvée.
The entire estate is either already certified organic (Ecocert) or is in the process of being converted. There is a real desire to work differently, whether in vineyards or in winemaking, with attempts to reduce sulfite consumption.
The 47 hectares of Domaine de la Pépière are harvested exclusively by hand, a minority in the region. Only about twenty winemakers harvest their grapes this way.
For those who are wondering, the name La Pépière comes from the historical lack of water in the area. “Pee” is an old expression meaning thirsty. It is also a chicken disease that prevents them from drinking. The chicken that we find on the official domain logo and in a more playful way on the boxes!
Cellar visit and tasting
Back inside, Remy leads us to the pressure and the winery. The production capacity of the estate is between 240,000 and 250,000 bottles per year. But of course, that doesn’t take into account the vagaries of the weather.
Weather and climate that are becoming increasingly demanding for growers: longer periods of frost due to early budding, harvesting…