Clos du Fief
It all started with barrels – Francis Tête, at the time a tonnelier, bought an estate in Juliénas with 6 hectares of vines in the 1920s. Now 4 generations later it is Francis’s grandson Michel with his son Sylvaine continuing this legacy. With almost 100 years of wine in the family the Tête’s have had some time to evolve their winemaking and polish their wines. Domaine du Clos du Fief is a tremendous example of classic, timeless, Beaujolais.
Today the estate comprises 17 hectares of vines. Around 10 hectares can be found in the appellation of Juliénas and the rest spread between Saint Amour, Chénas, Moulin á Vent and Beaujolais Village. When it comes to Village, the vineyards of the estate are found on high altitude (350+ meters) hillsides in the village of Jullié, neighbouring Juliénas. Some consider Jullié to be a “cru-Village”. Soils vary radically, see individual product sheets for specifics. Viticulture is sensible, minimal spraying and a huge amount of manual work such as ploughing is key. Winemaking is very traditional. First comes manual harvest, destemming is avoided, and wines are fermented with whole clusters and native yeasts, thus making it semi-carbonic. Fermentation takes place on stainless steel and concrete tanks. Time on skins varies depending on the wine but is in general around 10 days. Punching downs and sub-merged caps are used for cap management. Wines are then aged on large fuder that has been in the winery for generations.
As soon as you approach the winery at Domaine du Clos du Fief you sense there is soul here. The vineyards are just on the other side of the road, the driveway full of vineyard and winery equipment, you have the winery to your left and straight ahead is the Tête family’s house which sits on top of the bottle cellar. It is a family run operation and has been for so for 4 generations. For 4 generations the Tête family has produced honest and classic Beaujolais and the continue to do so.