Carole, Corinne & Olivier Andrieu

Clos-Fantine-Corinne-CaroleCarole and Corinne, and their brother, Olivier, are the people behind Clos Fantine in Faugères. Carole does the paperwork, Corinne makes the wine, and Olivier looks after the vines—but they all help with the pruning. They have 28 hectares of vineyards, planted with Carignan, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Cinsault, a little Syrah and Aramon, and some Terret. All of their vines are gobelet.

Their grandmother was born here and inherited three hectares. Their father, Jacques, worked in Paris but came back to the land and developed the estate. He also started working the vines organically. His children, however, have taken it a step further. They are now ardent supporters of the natural wine movement. They built a cellar in 2000, three years after their father’s death.

They use no fertilizers in their vineyards, letting grass grow naturally. When they determine that it’s dense enough, they plow. Depending on the year, different varieties of plants thrive, thereby balancing their soils. Each vineyard parcel is self-sufficient and harmonizes with its environment.

They use neither herbicides, nor pesticides, nor copper on their vines aside from the Carignan where two passages of natural sulfur powder is applied because this variety is very susceptible to powdery mildew. Their vines have been worked like this for decades and a natural resistance has developed.

All of their vines are within about seven kilometers of their cellar. They have several different plots with different aspects and problems. Rather than vinify by plot, they vinify by variety. The wines are aged from 18 to 24 months in concrete tanks. They don’t add sulfites during vinification or élevage but, depending on the vintage, may add a touch at bottling. Their wines are bottled unfined and unfiltered.