Visit and tasting of muscadet at Domaine de la Pepiere
Between two huge weekends of Hellfest 2022, it is advisable to – finally ! – to discover the region of Nantes and Clisson. Clisson is a charming little medieval town surrounded by vineyards. The site of one of the biggest music festival in France can not grow because of the vineyards that surround it !
Three days of musical break for our ears allowed us to enjoy our other senses: taste and smell. Because Clisson is a wine region whose flagship wine is Muscadet. We have chosen to discover one of the winegrowers of this well known appellation: Rémi Branger, from Domaine de la Pépière.
Rémi receives us on site in Maisdon sur Sèvre, located between Nantes and Clisson (Rock City !). Her partner Gwénaëlle Croix is never far away and is active in deliveries and receptions. Because it is necessary to make the domain work when the other one talks to bloggers !
Visit the vineyards of Domaine de la Pépière
We start the visit by a passage in the vineyard on one of the few plots in the immediate vicinity of the cellar. This year 2022, the losses are estimated relatively low despite the heat, frost and storms. There will be perhaps 10% less yield. Rémi relativizes in comparison with the past years during which he lost up to 40%.
The difficulties encountered sometimes give rise to beautiful stories of solidarity between winemakers as demonstrated by the Merci. In 2021, La Pépière buys wines from fellow winemakers for a special and exceptional vintage.
The whole estate is either already certified organic (Ecocert) or in conversion. There is a real desire to work differently, whether in the vineyards but also in the winemaking with attempts to reduce the contribution in sulfites.
The 47 hectares of the Domaine de la Pépière are harvested entirely by hand, which is very much in the minority in the region. Only twenty or so winegrowers are harvesting in this way.
For those who are wondering: the name of La Pépière comes from a historical lack of water in the area. “To have a peep” is an old expression meaning to be thirsty. It is also a disease of the chickens that prevents them from drinking. Chicken that we find on the official logo of the domain, and in a more humorous way on the cards !
Visit of the cellars and tasting
Back inside, Rémi takes us to the pressure and the vat room. The production capacity of the domain is 240.000 à 250.000 bottles per year. But it is of course without counting the vagaries of the weather…
The weather and climate are becoming more and more demanding for the wine growers: longer periods of frost due to the precocity of the budding, and very early harvests (often in August !) shortening the season by almost a month. If you still don’t believe in climate change, why don’t you go and visit a farmer !
Inside, the equipment is rather nice: two beautiful pneumatic presses, and many tanks, which allows the production and the storage on the spot. A few concrete eggs strengthen the vintages different from the rest.
To finish the visit, Rémi obviously offers us a tasting of the wines of the domain:
- The traditional Muscadet : Muscadet Sèvre et Maine sur Lie – 2021
- The bottle of solidarity : Thanks – 2021
- A very special vintage: Briords – 2021
- The future beautiful appellation: Clisson – 2019
- Another local vintage : Gorges – 2019
- And a last one of terroir : Monnière – Saint Fiacre – 2019
The different vintages have names of terroirs which are explained on the map below: according to the geographical situation, the soil and the subsoil are different.
The best way to really discover the domain is to go for a tour ! You’ll be well received, and will certainly leave with a few bottles in the trunk, straight from the producer 😉
Domaine de la Pépière
36 La Pepière
Phone number: 0962331503