The Bourgeois family uses the best of French and New World winegrowing techniques to capture the essence of Marlborough and reveal the identity of the Clos Henri terroir.
A JOURNEY TO NEW TERROIR
Nestled under the southern foothills of Marlborough’s Wairau Valley, Clos Henri is the wine estate meticulously established and organically run by the famous Sancerre winegrowing family of Henri Bourgeois.
To discover unique terroir and new winemaking perspectives, the Bourgeois family embarked on a 12 year world search for a new slice of land, similar to their own in Sancerre, France, where ultra-premium Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir could be grown.
In the year 2000, New Zealand revealed itself as this place and as the family fell in love with the land and wines of Marlborough, their instinctive and emotive decision to purchase 109 Hectares of native pasture was made.
ONE UNIQUE SITE
Marlborough, New Zealand’s most famous wine region, is located at the top of the South Island. Three qualities act in synergy making Marlborough an ideal place for growing Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir:
- Intense sunlight results in wines of great concentration.
- Long, dry growing seasons allow intense aroma accumulation and even ripening.
- Cool nights retain natural acidity in the grapes and creates wines that age well.
COME TASTE THE TERROIR
Terroir (pronounced tehr-wahr) is a French term which expresses the combination of three elements coming together: soil, weather and winegrowing style. These elements bring a unique identity and a sense of place to the wine. Remaining true to the terroir requires respect, restraint and understanding of the land.
THE UNION WITH THE LAND
It is important for us to learn about our terroir and to understand how to respect its profound nature and balance.
Working organically, with grapes grown only from our high density planted estate, and using dry farming practices (no irrigation), enables us to achieve true terroir expression more purely than conventional approaches.
THREE UNIQUE SOIL TYPES
Our estate has a fault line running diagonally through the property, dramatically shaping the terroir and distinguishing the wines. This fault line has helped to form our three unique soil types; Wither clay, Broadbridge clay and Greywacke river stone. Each soil type gives birth to a label.
The Clos Henri winery was built in 2009 with its first vintage taking place in March 2009. With the winery on site we have everything in our hands, from the vines to the winery.
Having our winery amongst our vineyard is a major benefit to our winemaking philosophy. Grape transport time is only a few minutes allowing the fruit to be treated in the most respectful way.
Every parcel of fruit is transported in a small harvest trailer to avoid compaction while sorting is carried out by hand both in the vineyard and in the winery for optimum quality control.
During harvest we are looking for perfect aromatic and phenolic maturity, using analysis and berry tastings in each block and each soil type. Rather than pumping the must to vats or barrels, we use gravity lifts to get the harvested grapes in, which protects the grapes from being crushed or bruised.
In Sauvignon Blanc, through our unique receival system, we avoid skin contact as much as possible to enhance finesse and mineral expression.
In Pinot Noir, we gently pump-over the juice in the early stage of maceration alternating with only few plungings to carefully extract supple and ripe tannins.
It is of prime importance to us that every bottle of our wines is carefully aged, stored and packed on site in our estate to ensure each bottle delivers great satisfaction.