The Clément family has been wine-growers in Menetou-Salon since 1560 (16 generations). Now joined by their daughter Anne, Isabelle and Pierre Clément own 70 hectares of the finest, south-west exposed hillside vineyards in the appellation. Menetou-Salon is a quaint country village about 20 minutes southwest of Sancerre. Around 25 producers share the appellation. The production is 65% white wine from Sauvignon Blanc and 35% red from Pinot Noir (about 10% is rosé). While Menetou-Salon is on the same side of the Loire River as its more famous neighbor Sancerre, it has the same fossil-rich Kimmeridgian limestone-clay soils that are prevalent in Chablis. These Kimmeridgian soils impart the distinctly complex, aromatic and elegant personality to Clément’s wines. Their total production is around 600,000 bottles per year.
Farming/vinification practices: Certified Terra Vitis. The Cléments have been practicing sustainable viticulture through meticulous, hand vineyard work for generations, long before the term acquired its present marketing connotation. Grass is left to grow between the rows to protect against rot (it absorbs moisture). Only indigenous yeasts are used. All the tanks are temperature-controlled through a central computer that can be accessed remotely. The wines are vegan.