The beautiful domain of Clos Landry is located on the road to Calvi airport. The linear and verdant vine plants unfold towards the north, on a gently sloping area, lined with old umbrella pines. On the horizon, the sea shimmers. A winding road leads us past a large building with a sculptural vaulted door. The five-meter-high cellar is dug into the granite arena. Marc Paolini, a dark-haired, dynamic, and elegant young man, awaits us with a smile.
Le Clos Landry bears the name of a family who acquired it at the beginning of the 19th century. Married to a Corsican, Mr. Landry came to settle on the Isle of Beauty to establish an agricultural estate with the idea of bequeathing it to his son, who ultimately preferred politics. Marc's great-great-grandfather was therefore hired as the estate manager. Thus begins a beautiful family story since Marc's great-grandfather manages to take over and operate the estate. Today, Clos Landry, operated by Marc Paolini, a fifth-generation winemaker, is made up of 21 hectares in front of the cellar and 4 hectares in Calenzana.
LE ROSE GRIS A FAMILY INSTITUTION!
"Our first gray rosé from Corsica, our iconic rosé, was born in the 1970s thanks to my grandfather who, to save an unusable harvest, had the idea of vinifying in white, without maceration. By selecting free-run juices, he obtained a very clear rosé. He was a pioneer in pale roses on Corsica Island,” explains Marc Paolini. The gray rosé is the most famous product of Clos Landry and goes perfectly with summer dishes.
BIRTH OF LEA AND A NEW CUVEE
In 2001, when Léa, Marc's little sister, was born, the family dedicated a prestige cuvée to her. This is the very first parcel selection of the estate. The blend of Sciaccarellu, Grenache and Niellucciu is co-fermented in stainless steel vats then aged in oak barrels for 24 months.
"During this period, I did little work in the field because I was studying in Nice at the faculty of eco-management. It was when my grandfather died that I decided to return to help my mother who was having trouble managing everything on her own," recalls the young man. While Cathy somehow vinified her first vintage, in 2010, Marc became an agricultural employee on the family estate where he learned all the facets of working in the vineyard and in the cellar. He acquires rigor, seriousness, and sweats! He also takes an interest in the terroir, the life of the vine and the ecosystem.
" I fell in love with the land and nature, and it was during this period that I really wanted to become a winegrower. He then followed a viti-oenology training course in Burgundy, where the teaching is oriented towards paedology, aging, tastings and vinification. Marc only returned to his roots in 2015 to carry out his first harvest. " I was feverish because I had never harvested or vinified alone ", he confesses.
A nod to fate, Christophe Wagner, an energetic young oenologist and biodynamicist at heart, comes to take some stress off the team. Driven by the desire to experiment and design new cuvées, they both enrich the initial range composed of Blanc des Copines, Rosé Gris, Rouge Tradition and Cuvée Léa Rouge.
A first test is carried out on the plot of old Carignan vines from 1965. The vinification is done in stainless steel vats and the aging for one year in Burgundy barrels. With a successful result, the 2015 vintage, "The Unexpected", is warm and powerful in its delicacy and ripe fruit. In 2016, the two artists improve and perpetuate the Clos range and refine the vinification and aging of Carignan.
To perfect the plot experiences, the cellar is equipped with several demi-muids. Passionate about the profile of Burgundy whites, they created the Léa Blanc cuvée from a 0.5-hectare plot. The tasting of this Vermentinu is superb on the roundness, its smokey flavour and retains the mineral and tense freshness brought by the granitic arena soil.
In 2018, the duo is part of an AB conversion in a biodynamic vision of the vine and biodiversity through an ongoing agroforestry project. The soils of the rows are enriched with nettle manure prepared on the estate, while everlasting flower and eucalyptus decoctions are misted on the leaves to protect them from the sun. The environment undergoes the healthy influence of the microclimate, favorable to the development of plant material.
In 2019, Christophe and Marc want to expand the range of whites and design a rather tense, fresh mineral Vermentinu, with a nice grain expressed by a poor and sandy clay soil. This is the " Roche Mer " version which comes in red and white, aged on lees, in stainless steel vats. In 2020, the " Etonnant Cinsault ", fresh and generous on concentrated cherry and spice, completes the range of production.
The progression of the range is dazzling, it has gone from four to eleven wines in seven years and is still ongoing. A sparkling wine is under consideration!
"To increase the work and breeding surfaces, the cellar should undergo an extension in the coming months. All this would not have been possible without the work of my mother.
From 2009 to 2015, the work of restructuring the old deficient vineyard required colossal efforts to renew the plots of Sciaccarellu, Grenache, Vermentinu and Biancu Gentile. It is thanks to his courage and his hard work that we can now bring out exceptional cuvées in the original spirit of our wines”, underlines the thirty-year-old.
THE DOMAINE’S SUMMER EVENT
Twice in the summer, mid-July and early August, the property opens its doors to the public. Tasting walks are organized in the vineyard and at the end of the journey, sports epicureans are welcomed by a group of Corsican singers. Throughout the evening, chit chats take place around wines and farm boards!