LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND – The Clos, Domaines & Châteaux group of wineries in canton Vaud has added a new member, bringing the group to 26. The Clos de L’Abbaye in Yvorne is a very special addition: it is the first publicly owned winery (the commune of Yvorne) and it is the first “clos”, or legally designated wine entity.
CD&C was created 10 years ago to ensure the quality and reputation of the Vaud tradition of wines created by domaines and clos (legally specified areas, traditionally enclosed) that belonged to the chateaus, hospitals and communes, part of the region’s rich cultural history. The wines registered with the group undergo strict quality controls every year, with technical committees formed to examine the vineyards during the growing season as well as the wines in the making.
The Clos de L’Abbaye has an excellent reputation for its Chasselas wine, which is one of the canton’s Premier Grand Cru wines – I’ve rated it one of the best at the past two annual tastings of these wines: floral, flint or gunpowder nose, mineral and lively. Wednesday I tasted an older vintage – we were left guessing the year, but 20th century – and it was remarkably fresh and more interesting than the fine younger wines.
The grapes are grown relatively low on the slopes of Yvorne, on gravelly clay soil that sits on a bed of Lias limestone. The clos is 2 hectares, small terraces enclosed by masonry walls (clos) that are called “resses” locally.
The 20,000 vines, goblet cultivation, have a yield of 1 kilo per m2. Grower Jean-François Franceschini works with oenologist Frédéric Blanc, following integrated production principles.