Auguste Clape (of Domaine Clape) is a legendary figure amongst Rhône wine makers renowned for his wry wit, wisdom, modesty and unparalleled track record in producing a succession of outstanding wines of incredible longevity. He worked his first harvest in Cornas back in 1949 and over the ensuing 6 decades has accrued an unrivalled knowledge of the appellation. Having recently undergone a hip replacement, a knee replacement and a double cataract operation Auguste is no longer working the steep terraces of the vineyards but he is in good fettle and is still on hand to offer sage advice to his son Pierre and grandson Olivier.
I had the great privilege to catch up with Pierre and Olivier after they had completed the grape harvest back in October and took the opportunity to quiz Olivier about his thoughts on the 2012 vintage. You can probably tell from this video clip that he has not only inherited his grandfather’s passion for wine-making but he also has the ésprit that elevates the good to the great. The wines speak for themselves and anyone who doubts this should try sourcing them on the secondary market!