The Avril family have been winegrowers in Chateauneuf du Pape since 1600 and had a big influence how this wine region was developed. Currently Paul Vincent Avril runs the winery. ”Our family wine making tradition is truly at the origin of ”Clos des Papes” reputation and we intend to ensure that will continue to influence its future”, says Paul Vincent Avril.
In year 1808 Clos des Papes had a highly scattered 40 hectares vineyards as still today. Together with 24 different plots include the best soils in the Chateauneuf du Pape. 94% of wines are red and 6% white. Soil type is miocene covered with Alpine plateau or terrace dilivium. The earth is often covered with round stones which stores the day heat and releases it during the night, this enhances the ripeness of the grapes.
Avril family has an opinion that great Chateauneuf du Pape can only be prepared from blend of several varieties, contrary to other well known regions. The wine complexity increases when several soils are blended. Before the 1st World War most of the Chateauneuf du Papes harvest was bought by brokers who liked very powerful wines and that is why many growers excluded old Grenache vines. This is the reason why Chateauneuf du Pape wines have had reputation of a heavy, strong wine which lack elegance and finesse.
Clos des Papes wines has been made for long keeping, using traditional vilification and maturation. Yield has been kept low (an average of 28hl/hectare).
Red varieties with ratio are following:
- Grenache Noir 65%
- Mourvèdre 20%
- Syrah 10%
- 5% of Counoise, Vaccarèse and Muscardin
White grapes varieties Grenache Blanc, Rousanne, Clairette, Bourboulec, Picpoul and Picardin have same percentage each. White wines are not exposed to wood but red wines mature 12-15 months in oak barrels. There is no filtration for reds but the wine is fined with egg white which captures the residue.