From: Burgundy, France
Varietal: Pinot Noir
At a Glance
Size: 1.4 ha (3.4 ac)
Variety: Pinot Noir
Vine Age: Planted in 1946, 1960, 1988, 2002
Terroir: Southeastern Fixin, lower on slope, alluvial soils: stony, well-draining, with some chalky rocks
Viticulture: Lutte raisonnée
Vinification: 20% whole cluster, mostly pump-overs with some punch-downs, indigenous yeast fermentation in tank. Aged for 15 months in barrel (20% new oak).
Additional Info. In 1855, Lavalle ranked les Crais a second growth.
Etymology: “Crais” and its variant “Cras” do not appear to have any relation to the word craie, chalk, nor to the local patois for crow. Instead, it possibly stems from the Gallic word caracos, which meant stony hill or mass of fallen stones. (Source: Marie-Andrée Landrieu-Lussigny.) Given that the vineyard lies on alluvial sediments, namely stones rather than bedrock, this explanation makes sense.
Location: Les Crais is 1.73 hectares (4.27 acres). It lies just east of the village, on the lower, very gentle part of the slope, at 280-meters elevation. It faces east-southeast.
Soil: The soil is medium-deep, approximately 70 cm. It is brown, light, with a well-draining mixture of silt, sand, clay, and it is very rocky, with up to 40% rounded alluvial gravel and cobbles, and even the occasional large (10-25 cm), rounded boulder. Amélie notes that Les Crais is the easiest of her Fixin vineyards to work, which underlines how well-draining the soil is.
Bedrock: Most of the vineyard is on thick alluvial sediments, primarily derived from the Combe de Brochon to the south, and the Combe Laveau to the north. In the upper portion of the vineyard there is salmon-pink limestone conglomerate.
The Berthaut-Gerbet parcel: With 1.38 ha (3.41 acres) the Berthauts own most of the vineyard except for a bit at the bottom of the slope. Plantation dates range from 1946 to 2003, with an average vine age of 40 years old. The vines are planted N/S, across the slope.
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