Goodbye to a pioneer

Date: 25-Jul-2018

Sadly the doyen of Cornas, Auguste Clape, the man who above all others put the appellation on the map, passed away on July 13, 2018 at the age of 93. His was  the quintessential Cornas, and still will be under son Pierre-Marie and grandson Olivier’s guidance.

Clape, helped turn Cornas into one of the world's most revered sources for Syrah. The Clapes had been winegrowers for several generations in the Languedoc but difficult times at the start of the 20th century led the family to move to the Rhône Valley and begin again. Even in the Rhône life was far from easy with many growers abandoning their vines, particularly on the steep slopes like Cornas where everything had to be done by hand. Born in 1925, Auguste starting working at the estate during the 1940s when all the fruit was sold to local négociants. In 1949, he married Ariette Frugier, who inherited about 8 acres of vineyards from her family and in 1957, the Clapes became the first growers in the area to bottle their own wine.

The approach at Clape to viticulture and winemaking hasn’t changed, maybe each generation, Pierre-Marie and now Olivier bring small refinements. However the essence of the Clape Cornas is what Auguste always envisioned it as, a reflection of place, a wine tied to its roots like no other. Auguste Clape has left a legacy to be proud of.

 

Pierre-Marie, Jean-Christophe and Auguste Clape

Father and son