Fiona Beeston and the Clos des Capucins

I thought it would be easy ! I was looking for a small vineyard in Chinon with an exceptional terroir. Three years later I finally found what I was searching for. I probably would have saved myself a lot of time, had I just sought out where the monks planted their vines. They like their wine, and clearly wouldn’t have contemplated planting their vines on unremarkable soils !

When finally I tumbled upon the Clos des Capucins – established by the monks in 1604 – I couldn’t believe my luck. It had all the ingredients for a great wine. The Clos des Capucins confirms the old saying « to make exceptional wines, vines require an exceptional view». Here the vines overlook the meandering river Vienne. Chinon’s Fortress is bang opposite.

The Clos des Capucins is a walled vineyard, just under a hectare and a half, divided into 4 separate plots, each surrounded by gardens, hedges, fruit trees etc. This diversity fits in perfectly with bio-dynamic farming.

I fell in love with wines from Chinon, after having tasted, in the early 1980’s, with Charles Joguet, wines from his domaine. I had never had a red wine from the Loire that combined wonderful freshness with sensuality.

I worked in the wine trade as a wine merchant, wine journalist and wine writer in London, but moved to Paris early on, simply to be within reach of vineyards.

In 2010, I took the leap… and have now become a slave to my vines!

I try to avoid using the tractor so as not to compact the soil, replacing this by spraying with a backpack and getting the plough horse in to control the weeds when they get out of hand.

The vineyard is bio-dynamic.. of course !