The why, the what and the how of...
Previously just an old shed and a forgotten name in Saint-Émilion, Clos Cantenac has been brought back to life.
In early 2007, British businessman and previous owner of Château de Sours, Martin Krajewski, purchased Clos Cantenac with his New Zealand friend Marcus Le Grice. Their first priority was to improve the vineyards and renovate the 200-year-old winery in preparation for the upcoming harvest. Split up by inheritance over many generations, the last wine produce by this estate was bottled in 1982.
The 6-hectare vineyard is split into four main blocks, with each worked on a parcel-by-parcel basis, according to the age, condition, seasonal variations, and requirements of their gently sloping, south-facing vineyards. They have re-introduced cover crops within the rows and manage the estate using only sustainable products and techniques, all in the name of caring for the environment. Careful canopy management, de-budding, crop-thinning and de-leafing helps the team to protect and maintain the correct yields and enhance the quality of fruit.
At harvest-time, they pick according to the precision of their analysis and the ripeness of the grapes, which means that they may pass through an individual block two or even three times, over the course of several days to selectively gather only what is ready. Martin’s daughter, Charlotte, is the chief winemaker and at their Pomerol estate, Château Séraphine.
Grapes are harvested by hand, collected in small baskets and taken to the winery where they are carefully assessed on a first sorting table before being de-stemmed. The fruit is then checked again on a second berry-sorting table, before being passed gently into steel tanks and barrels.
Co-owner Martin Krajewski is also co -owner of South African winery, Aristea.