Domaine des Granits
After years of study, internships and family tutelage, young duo Benjamin Comerais and Anthony Branger have begun their own journey. In August 2021 they jumped at the opportunity to takeover a venerated Clos in their home of Maisdon-sur-Sèvre from a retiring winemaker. The plot needed some love so they got to work changing posts, replacing dead vines and repairing trellising. Fortunately, the previous owner had already begun organic conversion, so they were they happy to continue working in this manner even though Melon de Bourgogne is a delicate variety, easily susceptible to disease and rot. Full certification will be achieved with their 2023 harvest.
As vineyard manager Anthony takes pride in keeping the 4ha of vines ‘clean’, weeding, pruning, and trellising with the tender dedication of a first-time father with their infant. Both Anthony and Benjamin walk through the vines daily during the spring, keeping watchful eyes on the young growth. The Clos les Noëlles plot is the highest point in the Village of Maisdon sur Sèvre giving it an advantage against spring frosts. The soils consist of a top layer of broken granite with clay, mica, and quartz over a deeper layer of granite through which determined roots find their way establishing strong holds and bringing all the mineral goodness into the grapes. The oldest vines are 25 yrs and the youngest are about 8 yrs. At harvest all work is done in the early morning, meticulously, and by hand.
While much of Benjamin’s winemaking skill comes from his studies in Bordeaux, Australia and by his father’s side, he enjoys the challenge of learning from his own vines and how they influence him to create the best possible wine. Juice is allowed spontaneous fermentation from indigenous yeasts. In-ground, temperature-controlled concrete tanks which are covered in glass tile. Aged on lees for 6 months. No fining. Only light filtering just before bottling. There are plans to create other cuvées based on vine location and age but both men make it clear they want to take thoughtful steps to develop deep knowledge of the Clos les Noëlles and what she can produce.
Their time is now, and they are charging ahead in mind, body, and soul with long, challenging work-days and much gratitude for the support and love of their wives. The results are stunning!