Domaine les Grands Crays

Catherine and Dominique Terrier

Viré-Clessé

 

Situated in the Haut-Maconnais, the Viré-Clessé appellation was created in 1999, taking as its footprint the two already existing appellations of Macon-Clessé and Macon-Viré. Vineyards in four villages: Laizé, Clessé, Viré and Montbellet are included in the appellation. Chardonnay is the only permitted grape variety.

Dominique Terrier took over the family property in 1980 and today farms 20 hectares of vineyards. He sends 25% of his crop to the local co-op and vinifies the rest himself, most of which he sells to negociants. Dominique is also a pépinériste, owner of the local nursery specialized in vine cultivation, and has a deep understanding of the best root stocks and clones for the Viré-Clessé appellation and more specifically his own vineyard.

The Terrier family traces its roots in Clessé back more than a century and Dominique’s great grandfather produced the family’s first wine in 1923. Despite a devastating attack of black rot mildiou in 1934, Dominique and Catherine have many 100 year old plants in their vineyard. The vineyard faces due east and extends over a range of soils and elevations. Two of their parcels are in the lieux dits Le Clos and Le Mont which at 200 to 275 meters in altitude are among the highest in the appellation.

 

Le Clos du Chateau

Dominique Terrier produces a few different wines from different parcels. The Clos du Chateau comes from the estate’s upper parcels which include “Le Mont” and “Le Clos”. The soils are very stoney with some veins of flint and very little topsoil. The plant selection is largely massale and the average age is 40 years. The vinification is done in stainless steel vats at low temperatures using indigenous yeasts. After fermentation the wine rests sur lie until bottling in June/July.