Living Soils


The five cherished terroirs that thrive in Clos Marey-Monge have been cultivated for two millennia. First by Benedictine Monks and the Dukes of Burgundy ; then, since 1726, the five major families of Château de Pommard.

In Burgundy, it is often said that every single vine sends its roots into a different soil. Nowhere is that more true than in Clos Marey-Monge ; a terrain where ten diverse soils types and five truly magnificent terroirs come together to create our three wines – Vivant Micault, Clos Marey-Monge and Simone.

OUR SOILS ARE ALIVE

For 300 years, our deep, red marl (a mixture of clay and limestone) soils have been cultivated and cherished, preserved in time. Acting as a daily reminder of the awesome diversity of nature ; and how, with a guiding hand of a winemaker, the living soils of our earth can produce something out of this world.

Revealing a rare display of diversity, even for Burgundy, the soils of each of our five plots ; Grand Champs, Micault, Les Paules, Chantrerie and Simone ; are equipped with their own identity and personality, and a singular voice that yearns to be heard. All we have to do is encourage them to speak up in unison.


Exceptional Terroirs:
Simone, Chantrerie and Grands Champs

To allow the soils and subsoils to reveal their true elegance and essence, in their own time, and in their own way, we are converting the vineyard to biodynamic viticulture.

SEVEN TERROIRS

Each of the terroirs from each plot may be distinct from each other ; both in appearance and contents. They all draw their strength from a clay-rich limestone that was formed in the Upper Jurassic era ; more than 150 million years ago. This shared geological past unites them together today with a little help from a few thousand years of traditional Burgundy winemaking ; a process that has gently extracted even greater strength from the soils.


Simone Up Close:
 
One of the highest clay densities in Burgundy

“Clos Marey-Monge sits on top of the Avant-Dheune Valley dejection cone, or alluvial fan, a geological structure that allows even greater Pinot Noir-growing conditions to flourish through natural drainage.” 

Samuel Grivaux, Viticulture Manager

THIS ALL USED TO BE SEA

With their own individual multi-strata composition ; containing marls, lumpy brown clay-limestone soil, limestone gravel rocks, clay silt-limestone, rolled pebbles and marine fossil shells ; a legacy from when Burgundy was a flat and shallow tropical sea ;  the compacted fertile ingredients of each terroir offer something intimate to the embedded roots of their vines. In turn, they produce a grape that is ripe with the characteristic subtlety, richness and minerality that Burgundy is famed. They may all look and taste the same to an untrained palate. But to our experienced winemakers the variances in grape flavor structures from each plot is anything but subtle.


150 Million Years:
 Marine fossils can be found around the deep clay soils

THE WINE LIBRARY

In 2015, we began bottling 250 bottles of the wine from each of the five terroirs within the Clos Marey-Monge. We do this yearly to collect, preserve and analyse how each of the diverse soils of the vineyard tell a different story each year. In a few years our Wine Library will have many stories to tell. Our objective over the next decade is to study viticulture at its most simple – the soils – and how they produce such stunningly varied results.  The Wine Library also provides a unique opportunity over time to produce small quantities of single terroir wines.


2,000-Metre Clos Wall: O
ne of Pommard’s 27 climats, the soils and vines in Clos Marey-Monge face east for maximum sunshine

SCIENCE AND SOILS

In December 2016, Emmanuel, Antoine Lepetit de la Bigne, and the winemaking team, invited geological authorities, Adama ; to analyze the history of the landscape, the soils and the sub-soils of the vineyard. By digging deep, and taking samples of the soils from several locations around the Clos ; Adama’s results gave us a fascinating insight. How the living soils of the Clos first came together? Where all the ingredients originally arrived from? How the Clos is now divided into five diverse terroirs and when and why the landscape transformed over many millions of years?

One of the most incredible pieces of information to come to light after Adama’s study was that they recognized, and revealed, that while Clos Marey-Monge has five diverse terroirs, there are in fact ten different soil types in the vineyard. Each one has different physico-chemical properties identified by thickness, texture, and stoniness. Of the ten soil types, three types stood out the most. A very thick soil, with clay loam texture, lying on fine-grained alluvial deposits ; a thin calcareous soil with sandy loam texture lying on coarse alluvial deposits, formed in the Oligocéne, 30 million years ago ; and a thin calcareous soil with clay loam texture, lying on a bed of marls, which were formed in the Quaternary age, around five million years ago.

While we are never surprised by Clos Marey-Monge’s eternal ability to reveal more and more of her secrets, to hear that her soils are so diverse, and so alive, makes us appreciate the vineyard more and more with each day. Today, in 2017, after their 150 million year journey, the soils of Clos Marey-Monge now have a good life. Ploughed by Mickey, our gentle, but giant horse, who tumbles the soils of each one-metre wide row throughout the Clos with much less distress than any tractor, each soil, each terroir, is on a healthy biodynamic diet under the affectionate eye of our winemaker, Emmanuel Sala.


Mickey the Horse: Simone’s delicate soils receive tender toiling and tumbling

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