The hospital of Saumur in partnership with the well known Saumur Co-Operative Robert & Marcel has announced that it has signed a 25 year agreement for Robert & Marcel to manage the famous Clos Cristal vineyard and that there will be 1,3 million euros investment over the next 5 years.
Great news for the region. This historic vineyard was built by local man Antoine Cristal and was left to the hospital in Saumur upon his death in 1928. Many of you reading this will have visited this vineyard where the vines are planted on the north side of a series of walls and the foliage is trained through holes in the wall and out on to the south side. Antoine Cristal had big plans to make high quality red wine in a region that (at the time) struggled to achieve sufficient ripeness in black grapes.
The investment will see the restoration of 6ha (the total plot is 10ha), maintenance of 3km of internal walls, a new winery and an area to receive the public.
Sadly, the previous management team was unable to keep the estate financially viable and was put into liquidation a couple of years ago. The Co-operative has been running the estate since then and although no 2016 was commercialised, there will be a small quantity of 2017 available. Both vintages were vinified without the addition of S02 and the estate continues to be run along organic lines.