The Wairau Valley in the wine-rich Marlborough region of New Zealand is home to many remarkable wine brands. Clos Henri is one of them. The Bourgeois family has been running this wine brand for over 10 generations now. The France-based Bourgeois family is one of the highly respected and established wine growers in Sancerre.
It was during 1952 that the 8th generation Bourgeois family member, Henri, got into full-fledged winemaking and started with the terroir-driven approach to craft high-quality wines. Today, with over 120 vineyards spread across 72 hectares, Henri and his family own the largest area of vineyard in this region.
A distinct feature of the Clos Henri wine brand is the quality of its terroir. Here, you will find close to three different soil types in the 110-hectare vineyard. Unlike the traditional Marlborough style of vine-planting, Clos Henri follows a unique high-density vine planting style at close to 6000 plants per hectare. The double guyot fruit pruning system ensure that the fruit gets positioned well and thus uniformly ripened.
Hand-harvesting, organic viticulture, dry farming practices and encouraging micro-organisms to grow in the vineyards are some of the reasons for the highly concentrated flavours found in the grapes cultivated here. The summers are dry and windy in the Marlborough region of New Zealand. This keeps the grapes quite healthy and eliminates the need to use chemical products on the vines. Natural compost made from humus, fungal life and earthworm activity is used for conditioning the soil, to keep the winemaking process as natural as possible.
When you visit the Clos Henri vineyards in Marlborough, you will notice that mussel shells are spread all through the vines to improve the calcium content of the soil. Also, sheep are allowed to graze the vineyards during the winters to control the growth of grass and unnecessary weeds, thereby keeping the soil health intact for producing full-bodied and concentrated grapes.