Clos des Fous

Clos des Fous, or “vineyard of fools”, is a collaborative vineyard out to prove everyone wrong about the perception of Chilean wines and how they should be made.

Founded by four friends in Bio Bio, about 500 km south of Santiago, Chile, these four “crazy” men, as they have been described, have been working hard to change the way of Chilean wine since they founded their vineyard in 2008.

Clos des Fous is a very new vineyard in the Bio Bio region in Chile. A cooperation between four friends, Francois Massoc, Paco Leyton, Pedro Parra, and Albert Cussen, they now own vineyards throughout Chile and have been slowly but surely producing quality wines since their first vintage in 2010.

Their collaboration takes its name from the many people who called them crazy for setting out the grow wines in generally inhospitable places in Chile. Their aim is to discover and cultivate new terroirs throughout the country and they are experimenting with the common notion of what Chilean wine is and should be.

One of the most exciting things they are doing in their joint venture is buying up old, dry farmyards and revitalising them; whether they be at high altitudes, on the coast, or deep in the southernmost part of the country. Each one of these farms is an experiment and the grapes grown there have a unique character due to the differing conditions. This is why their experiment is so exciting. These four men are changing the face of Chilean wine and the possibilities of viticulture in other parts of the world, as well.

In total, Clos des Fous manages about 51 hectares of land throughout Chile.

The largest vineyard they own is the Grillos Cantores Vineyard, at 22 hectares, where they grow Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Chardonnay. The Tato Vineyard is 10 hectares and Muscat, Pais, Carignan and Cinsault is grown there. Their Traiguen Vineyard is 9 hectares and grows Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Riesling grapes. The Pucalan Vineyard and the 1914 Vineyard are both 4 hectares and grow Pinot Noir and Malbec respectively. Finally, their Bio Bio Coast Vineyard is 2.5 hectares and grows Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes.

Terroir is the main focus of Clos des Fous, especially in regards to how soils and different climates affect the grapes. They are using the latest technologies available in order to advance their vineyards, and aim to be on the cutting edge of the wine industry as a whole.

During the growing process, the men aim to intervene as little as possible. They don’t want to control the vines, but rather guide them as they adapt to the varying climates. Grapes from their vineyards are then harvested by hand before being transported to the winery.

After harvesting, the wines are all fermented in the traditional way, using concrete vats. After this, some wines, such as the Tocao, are aged in French oak barrels for two years without being racked.

Their vineyards are all organic and, when they are searching for new areas to plant their vines, they look for places where the vines will struggle. They believe that this will cause the vines to put down deeper roots while searching for nutrients and that this will produce some of the best fruit possible.

Up to this point, their theories have paid off and the wines they have been making are taking the world of Chilean wines by storm. The wines produced by the Clos des Fous vineyards have so far benefitted from the extreme conditions in which they are grown, resulting in top quality, cutting edge, interesting, and modern wines.

The wines of Clos des Fous are round and soft, with a nice amount of acidity and balance. Their red wines have notes of red fruits, and their white wines have flint aromas and a rich palate.

For you, we have chosen the 2013 Clos des Fous “Tocao” Granito Paleozoico.