Domaine Henri Bourgeois winery has been working with passion and care with Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir grapes for 10 generations to make wines with a unique expression. Every member of the family: Jean-Marie Bourgeois, Arnaud, Lionel and Jean-Christophe uses his knowledge and expertise to achieve this goal. The winery is located in the heart famous town of Chavignol, on the largest terroirs of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé. The area is located at the headwaters of the Loire.
The pioneering spirit within the family ensured that in 2000 a winery could also be started in Marlborough, New Zealand: Wijnhuis Clos Henri. Here too Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir bloom on the large terroirs of this region.
Clos Henri is a special new project in Marlborough, started by the renowned Bourgeois wine family from Sancerre, France. There, his wines are marketed under the name of the founder, Henri Bourgeois. This beautiful company in Chavignol is one of the references in the Sancerre. Henri is no longer alive, but his children and grandchildren continue the house in a magisterial way. Based on partly own vineyards and partly purchased grapes, the Bourgeois family produces mature and classic Sancerres, totaling some 1.2 million bottles, with 72 hectares of vineyards at the base.
They were able to apply the knowledge they gained in the Sancerre about the cultivation and vinification of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir one-on-one in their special new winery in New Zealand. For this purpose, the family acquired 109 hectares of meadows in Marlborough in 2000, in order to be able to unleash their passion in another country. They chose the Wairau River district, in the river valley west of Blenheim, the central town of Marlborough. A logical choice, because the soil here is very poor, due to the old deposits of river boulders, and therefore perfectly suitable for planting Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. But at the same time, the location has been chosen so that some of the vineyards are located on the hills. As a result, three types of terroir can be found on the purchased land, which enhances the complexity of the wines. The wines of the different parts of the vineyard have a distinctly different character.
One of the reasons for choosing this particular piece of land was that it was still so unspoilt. There was a sheep farm here, and the land was never plowed or fertilized - there was really no human intervention whatsoever. That meant a healthy surface, ideal for planting a beautiful vineyard. While maintaining the biological balance, Jean-Marie Bourgeois first planted plants that would give the soil some extra nutrition to compensate for the shortages of certain nutrients. The first canes were planted in August 2001. Each year, six hectares of vineyards are planted, so that it takes a total of twelve years before the whole piece is transformed from farm to vineyard. This also makes it possible for the family to get an even better idea of the special terroir step by step, as well as to further improve and adjust the vineyard management where possible. In this way, a special vineyard has been created for exactly the same two grapes with which Bourgeois is also successful in Sancerre and its surroundings: Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. The first wines under the name Clos Henri were made in 2003 and the following years benefited from the special terroir of this new vineyard. A beautiful project, which already yields special wines.
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