Happy New Year to you all!
The year 2022 will be our 20th season here at Les Clos Perdus. A time to celebrate, reflect and skip forward with the enthusiasm and innocence that got us started.
To all of you who have joined us along the way to promote, share and, most importantly, to drink our wines and to those of you that have sweated in the vines and winery: you are part of the fabric of Les Clos Perdus and the reason we’ve made it this far.
For different reasons the 2020 and the 2021 vintages were relatively small.
Along with the complexities of Covid 19, the year 2020 brought the most challenging of growing seasons. High humidity and rainfall led to high disease pressures. And to top it all, due to hunting restrictions, the increased population of wild pigs broke through the electric fences and ate far more than their fair share of grapes.
The positives were that we did rise to the challenge of high disease pressures, and we did make small quantities of excellent wines. Our whites and rosé are already being widely enjoyed. We will start bottling the reds this year.
In 2021, France was hit by severe late frosts. Fortunately we escaped the worst, losing only 15% of our potential crop.
Unlike the wet 2020 we had almost no rain during the 2021 growing season and this caused considerable hydric stress during the latter part of the growing season.
Ferments were slow due to lack of nitrogen in the fruit. However, with plenty of nurturing they have finally reached their completion. Now all tucked up for winter! Bottling for the whites and rosés will take place in early March 2022.
Recently we gained access to a 400 sq metre space in the hills above Peyriac de Mer. It was originally a pigeonnier and has already been used as a winery. There is ample space for wine and dry goods storage and for a spacious tasting room. In due course, after liming the walls and reducing the microbial population, we may start fermenting our wines there.
Many of you will already be aware that in 2018 we started a offshoot negociant company called Project 108. It focuses on making no-addition, no-fining or filtration wines (that is: nothing added and nothing taken away). The benefit of negociant status is that it allows us to purchase organic / biodynamic fruit from talented growers in the region. It also gives me the ability to experiment more in the winery and to supply our clients with a complementary range of cutting-edge wines.
Back to the soil
Our focus with Les Clos Perdus wines and vineyard has always been, and will continue to be, terroir.
In 2022 I would like to dig deeper into biodynamic principles, increase microbial population in the soil though replacing some of the sulphur treatments with fermented compost liquid and herbal tea concoctions such as horsetail, nettle, comfrey and camomile.