Our Beaujolais winemaker, Marine Descombe, purchased this small estate in the village of Beine in 2017. Passy Le Clou is an old family winery, formerly owned by respected Chablis winemaker Gérard Patrice. Having no children to pass it on to, he sold to Marine, who is deeply invested in preserving the history and the land of this domaine. She follows strict environmental guidelines to preserve the health of the soil and wildlife. Soils are tilled to avoid using herbicides by improving their aeration, soil structure, and water conservation. Natural hedges stimulate biodiversity, and only natural fertilizers and cover crops are used. An artificial lake helps moderate the climate and protect against the severe frosts of this northerly region.
Passy Le Clou’s 30 hectares are spread over 21 individual plots, which Marine vinifies separately (with a small team of just 7 people) to showcase the individual expression of the terroir. Our Petit Chablis comes from just two hectares, in a slightly cooler zone than the Chablis, with Portlandian soils. These soils are slightly younger limestone than their famed Kimmeridgian counterparts, emphasizing the fruit rather than mineral aspects of these classic wines. The vines also are younger, and the wine has an alluring citrusy freshness with an aromatic finish.
The winery itself is modern, allowing precise winemaking with a light and delicate touch. After strict selection at harvest, grapes are pressed very gently in a pneumatic press, the must is allowed to settle naturally and is racked 12-24 hours after pressing. Fermentation takes place in temperature-controlled, stainless steel tanks for 4-6 months, and sedimentation occurs naturally. The wine then ages a further 3-6 months on its fine lees.