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Wine tour paz levinson

Near the Garonne river, below the Tabanac bell tower, Côtes de Bordeaux, this is a confidential vineyard that rises to 80 m above sea level and rests on clay-limestone and clay-gravel soils; the stony, gently sloping ground shelters a pine forest below. All around, the vines are surrounded by a flourishing flora and fauna which contributes to biodiversity. Here, a 20-acre Muscadelle plot for the whites; there, the lord's vines, an old Merlot plot, some of which are over 65 years old, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Florence et Jacques Jouny entourant Paz Levinson.

If you ask them why they took on such an undertaking when they were ready to retire, Florence and Jacques Jouny will answer the same way: because of their love of good food and wine! Behind them, a career as globetrotting engineers; in the foreground, perhaps, the desire to put down roots, to build something meaningful together: Creativity, yes, but they want excellence. And yet being an engineer is not enough! Fair enough, Florence, who refuses to be out of her depth, obtained a degree in agriculture (wine-making). In 2016, they signed for Château La Clyde, their own little Saint-Émilion. For the four years since they acquired the property, they have compared themselves to farmer-winemakers working in a variety of jobs: the vineyard, the cellar, communication, marketing, distribution... From morning to evening, they are in the vineyard, leaving on Saturdays and Sundays.

           You have to do things with passion, get involved!

Especially if you choose to work organically and biodynamically like Florence and Jacques. Just like a huge garden, the vineyard extends over 1.8 hectares in a single block. Florence:

“When we first arrived, we were advised to uproot everything; we were against it. There were several generations of vines, so we decided to keep everything we could and to replant our plots”.

Biodynamics is a philosophical approach based on the senses and perceptions, and it is a whole system of information, which we connect with and which is passed on. Florence: “It consists in intensifying the soil's vitality so that there is a better exchange between the soil and the plant; we use plants to treat the plants, by infusing them, by making decoctions and infusions that we will energize and spray on the whole vineyard; we work by respecting the astral influences; but with common sense: observing the plant, understanding and reading nature, if there is an emergency, then we act.”

On the eve of their 6th vintage, the Jouny couple gained in confidence. As for the preparations, Florence admits: “The first year I did everything by myself, it took too long. We found a service provider for nettle purins and anaerobic horsetail decoctions, I saw the difference, it's much better, it's a bit more expensive but we're getting on with it, especially with the Muscadelle, a very fragile grape variety.”

Robert Pina, chef cuisinier Le Robinson à Quinsac.

In their tiny laboratory, everything is functional, supported by a dynamic organic specialist and Pierre Jean, their consultant oeno-logist. Florence and Jacques produce nearly 10,000 bottles, that is to say 4 Château La Clyde vintages: a 100% Muscadelle white, 2 red vintages, one of which is aged in oak barrels, and a rosé.

Jacques: “We produce the wines we like, we put our soul into them”. Today, oenologists, restaurateurs and sommeliers all agree on the quality of these wines, which are constantly evolving; they are vibrant, fruity and fresh, typical of the right bank.

AnneMarie Nouaille