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DOMAINE DE LA PEPIERE - Fact sheet

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Owner
Marc Ollivier
Products
Muscadet de Sevre et Maine sur Lie
Muscadet de Sevre et Maine sur Lie, Clos des Briords
Muscadet de Sevre et Maine sur Lie, Cuvée Eden
Muscadet de Sevre et Maine sur Lie, Clos Cormerais
Size of the Vineyards
24 hectares
Location of the Vineyards
The estate is located at Maisdon-sur-Sevre, 15km southeast of Nantes in the heart of the Sevre-et-Maine region. The principal estate vineyard is planted on hillsides overlooking the Maine river. 'Clos des Briords' is on the plateau between the rivers, while 'Clos Cormerais' is close to the Sevre river.
Soil
Unlike most Muscadet vineyards, the Pepiere vines are planted on predominantly granite and schist soils, giving distinctly superior results.
Estate cuvée : poor sandy topsoil on granite
Clos des Briords : clay-silica on granite
Cuvée Eden & Clos Cormerais : heavy clay on schist
Grape Varieties
All wines : 100% Muscadet (Melon de Bourgogne)
Average age of the vines
Estate cuvée : 30 year old vines
Clos des Briords : vineyard planted in 1930
Cuvée Eden : 50 year old vines
Clos Cormerais : vineyard planted in 1927
Average production
'Straight' Muscadet : 100 000 bottles
Clos de Briords : 30 000 bottles
Cuvée Eden : 17 000 bottles
Clos Cormerais : 5 000 bottles
Vinification and ageing
The important work here takes place in the vineyard : hard-pruning of low-trained vines, natural vegetal composting, hand harvesting...
In the winery, after a gentle pressing, the grapes for the estate cuvée are lightly yeasted and cool fermented (19-20°C) in tank. this wine is bottled in the spring following harvest.
The single vineyard cuvées are not yeasted at all. After 12 hours settling off the "bourbes", they ferment totally naturally - the "Clos des Briords" in vat at 20-22°C, the others in barrel (no new oak, third or fourth passage) with regular lees stirring.
None of the wines are fined before bottling.
Notes on the property
This estate was only created in 1984, based on initial family vineyard holdings and judicious land purchases by Marc Ollivier. It has quickly become established as a reference point for outstanding Muscadet, a complete revelation to those who associate the appellation with thin, acidic and often dirty wines.

Why are the Pepiere wines so much better ? Firstly, soil - most of the appellation is planted on inferior soils, but the majority of the Pepiere vineyards are on granite, which gives definition and mineral complexity to the wines. Secondly, old vines, ensuring real concentration. Thirdly, hard work in the vineyards, with low yields and natural viticulture to maximise potential quality and terroir expression. Finally, intelligent non-interventionist winemaking, to let this potential come through fully in the bottled wine.