January Meeting


“Meet the Winemakers - La Grande Clotte, Lussac, St Emilion”

Presented by Mathieu Mercier and Julie Rapet

The January meeting  will be a first for WSWS - 2 young winemakers are flying over from France to present their wines to us.  They are Mathieu Mercier and Julie Rapet, the proud owners and winemakers of La Grande Clotte, an 8 hectare Chateau in Lussac, 10 kilometres North-West of Saint-Emilion. They both graduated from the Bordeaux Science Agro in oenology in 2013 and then travelled to Chile and California before moving to Canada where Mathieu was winemaker at Osoyoos Larose, which is the Canadian property owned by Gruaud Larose. They returned to France in 2015 and bought La Grande Clotte which was in a bit of a run-down state and still needs a lot of work. It had previously been rented for 25 years to the well-known French oenologist Michel Rolland (who also has interests in a heap of other estates in France and overseas).

Most young winemakers head for SW France where they are not bound by the strict rules of the classic regions and can experiment with different varieties and techniques, but Mathieu and Julie have bravely decided to establish themselves in a very traditional area, where young winemakers are quite rare, and to work within the restrictions.  This means they are limited in the wines they can make and must establish themselves as makers of a small range of fine, classic wines. It's worth looking at their website - http://lagrandeclotte.com - this very likeable looking couple are certainly not lacking in enthusiasm or ambition. They can only produce 3 red wines but do make some whites 'on the side' (they are not really meant to make white wines as La Clotte is scheduled as a red estate). So we will taste one of the whites and the 3 reds from 2 different vintages.

This will be an unusual experience for us. They both speak good English and we hope you will all come to what will be very lively and interesting presentation. They are doing WSWS a big favour so please come and support them.