Guide to the Loire regions

Orléans and Orléans-Cléry

Grower Profiles

Bénédicte and Hubert Piel

Clos Saint-Fiacre
Energetic Hubert Piel is, in his own words, an immigrant. He was born in Mayenne and came to Orleans via the towns of Laval, Nantes and Blois. He arrived here in 1995 when he married Bénédicte Montigny, cousin of Édouard, who makes wine just around the corner at Chant d’Oiseaux. The couple took over the running of the domaine when Bénédicte’s father, Daniel, died in 2000. Until that time, this was a smallholding that was home to apple and pear orchards as well as vegetables. For the past decade, the Piels have devoted themselves just to the vine.

Hubert is something of a wine fanatic. He knows wine, and unlike so many winemakers one meets in France and beyond, he tastes widely and he considers many of the countrie’s most distinguished vignerons as close friends. Above the tasting room is a collection of over 2,000 references of agricultural equipment and memorabilia. A private museum dedicated to the vine and its related industries; testament to the Montigny’s ancestors who firm arrived here in 1635.

The domaine itself can be found on the busy main road that runs through the cadastre of Saint-Fiacre on the eastern edge of Mareau-aux-Près. Through a doorway one enters a reception area and behind there is a central courtyard with access to a barn, built above some ancient vaulted cellars. The most recent facility was built by Hubert in 2003. There are stainless steel tanks here, although some wines are fermented and aged in oak down below. 

Wine Overview :
The domaine has 17 hectares of vines within the appellation, planted across three communes, although only 3ha are planted to Cabernet Franc for AC Orléans-Cléry. The balance is dedicated to Orléans, where they have 7.7ha of the two Pinots, plus they are the only grower in the region to exploit Pinot Gris with 1.7ha planted in Mézièrs. There are also 3ha of Vin de Pays Gamay and a single hectare of Sauvignon Blanc – which was bottled for the first time in 2008.

The wines :
The Orléans rosé is made up of around 60% Pinot Meunier and 30% Pinot Gris, whilst the Orléans red is based on 70% - 80% Meunier. A separate pair of premium cuvées are both raised in wood: the 100% Excellence Orléans blanc is 100% chardonnay aged in demi-muids, whilst the equivalent red is fermented in tank and has its malolactic conducted in barrel. 

Clos Saint-Fiacre is easily the leading producer in the region. They are also, possibly the most visable in terms of their presence on some of the better tables through the Loire. They have little wine to sell; usually a good sign, but also a result of proactive marketing. For amateurs ready to discover the appellation, this is the grower most worthy of seeking out.

Clos Saint-Fiacre
Bénédicte & Hubert Piel
560 Rue de Saint-Fiacre
T : + 33 2 38 45 61 55
F : + 33 2 38 45 66 58

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