Who: Paul Old
What: Corbières, IGP Côtes Catalanes, Languedoc-Roussillon
Where: Peyriac de Mer, Aude
When: 2003

The Story

This small Domaine was founded in 2003 by Englishman Hugo Stewart, a former pig farmer, and Australian Paul Old, a former contemporary classical dancer. It has steadily grown a reputation for handcrafting small quantities of spectacular wines from very old vines farmed organically and biodynamically in and around the Corbières.

The Corbières appellation is huge, the largest in the Languedoc, with over 13,000 hectares stretching from the Mediterranean to some 60km inland, most of it not very interesting, despite the stunning terrain. With the advent of Vin de Pays d’Oc varietal wines from much easier-to-work vineyards around twenty years ago, there was a loss of producers making interesting wines here. But not all is mass-produced, or cheap and simple. The name Les Clos Perdus means The Lost Plots and it reflects the founders’ purpose to re-discover and nurture small parcels of old vines disregarded by farmers who didn’t consider them economic to farm. The results are out of the ordinary.

Hugo retired in 2010, and today Paul farms vines in 3 very different locations: on the coastal plain near the village of Peyriac de Mer, the Corbières-Maritimes ; inland up in the hills, the heart of the Corbières; and in the Agly Valley not far from Maury in the Roussillon on the border with the Languedoc.

An Australian from the Northern Territories, Paul is the only former professional dancer-turned vigneron we know, and worked for many years with the Ballet Rambert in UK. Then, following a visit to a friend in the Languedoc, he was smitten by the landscape of old vines, vast range of grape varieties, soils, climate and terrain. He went home to study Wine Science, both viticulture and oenology, at Charles Sturt University in Australia. Once trained scientifically, he moved to southern France to base himself and family in the beautiful lagoon-side village of Peyriac de Mer, just south of Narbonne.

He farms organically and biodynamically, treating each plot according to its specific requirements, and intentionally seeking lower yields. He makes wines on the classic side of “natural”, with a light touch, treating each parcel as a micro-Cuvée, he doesn’t use any additives but almost always uses a light dose of sulphur to ensure the wines are clean and faithfully represent the terroir. On the other hand, he’s not afraid of flavour; the wines are rich, intense and quite full-bodied, yet always gentle.

He works out of a small cellar in the beautiful old village of Peyriac situated on a lagoon. The cellar seems far too small for the job and he has to play Tetris cube with tanks during vintage but sometimes constraints are a strong force for good. With a total production of around 30,000 bottles, all work is carried out in a ver labour-intensive manner. The wines are a great reference point for the Appellation.




ヒューゴは2010年にリタイアし、現在はポールが3つの異なる地域の畑を所有しています。ペイヤック・ド・メールの村に近い海外線の平地であるコルビエール マルティーム、コルビエールの中心である内陸に入った丘陵地、そしてラングドックとルーションの境に位置するモーリーからさほど遠くないアグリ・ヴァレーの3カ所です。




Les Clos Perdus Location