The Domaine is located in the Northern part of the Rhône Valley and produces wines from prestigious villages Condrieu and Côte Rôtie. The parcels in Condrieu are part of the villages of Malleval (Côte Bellay), Chavanay (Verlieu), Condrieu (La Roncharde and Corbery) and represents 2 hactares (5 acres). The ones related to the Côte Rôtie line are located in Tupin-Semons (Côteaux de Bassenon, Collet and Côteaux de Tupin) for a total of 4 hectares (10 acres) The Domaine produces also 2 wines from the IGP Northen Rhône parcels located on the river bank: Syrah and Viognier.
The Domaine was created in 1991 by Louis Clerc. Unfortunately, Louis passed away in 2007. His son Martin was too young to operate the winery, so family and friends help him and his mother until the time was right.
He studied in Beaune, Burgundy and found himself a passion for the Burgundian terroirs driven approach. Taking cares of terroirs, eager to learn about the plants so they produce their best, not blending grape varietals to let the terroirs and these cares express their potential, making the star of the experience and not hiding them behind a heavy wood exposure, Martin embraces all these concepts which are not the traditional way in Côte Rôtie and Condireu.
Since the 2013, Martin took over the vinification of the wines while still studying in Burgundy. Even though he was young, he already had a clear ideal : his Côte Rôtie line will only feature the full potential of the Syrah and its adaptation to the different parcels/terroirs with hint of oak to round them up (while other producers usually blend a bit of viognier wine, blend the parcel and expose for a long time their wine to oak barrel) ; His Condrieu will express the full potential of the viognier’s minerality and acidity for a long aging potential, specific to the native land of viognier in the world (while the other producers focus on heavy extraction and wood infused flavors).
In 2015, after a professional experience in Australia, he took over the Domaine, including the farming part, and turn its name into Domaine Martin Clerc. Martin replants every year parcels. The village ones are entirely taken care by hand and set up with handmade terraces. The slops are very steep and no machine would be adapted there. Each vintage, parcels and terroirs beneficiate of cares adapted to their pace. For Martin, practicing a sustainable agriculture is just a second nature. The plowing is done by hand in Côtie Rôtie and Condrieu, and mechanical in the valley for his IGP Rhône valley. All fermentation are natural, done with indigenous yeast. Even though Martin couldn’t afford to go study as an agronomical engineer, he applies the same mindset: a scientific approach to enhance nature instead of taming it.
At Celerier’s Cellar, we believe that Martin incarnates the future of the 2 appelation villages Côte Rôtie and Condrieu as a winemaker that wants his natural resource to shine instead of made up, mixed up and covered up products that just want to mimic negociant benchmarks. A unique approach, a strong mindset, a charismatic yet humble family operated winery: a must have experience.