The Clos Sainte-Magdeleine Winery A Family Affair in Cassis

On the Cap Canaille, in Cassis, Jonathan Sack-Zafiropulo continues the family winemaking venture and plans to make the wine of the estate Clos Sainte-Magdeleine an exceptional product.
By Caroline Taret

Cassis is a land of white and rosé wines. Which is exactly what the Clos Sainte-Magdeleine produces on its 20 hectares, a winery recognized for the quality of its products right up to the tables of the French president. This property facing the sea has been producing wine for centuries as attest traces of grape culture dating back to the 14th century. The estate as it exists today was founded by Jonathan Sack-Zafiropulo’s maternal great-grandfather in 1918, a man whose Greek origins echo the people who imported viticulture to Provence over 2,000 years ago. Jonathan represents the 4th generation of this family to take care of the Clos Sainte Magdeleine estate, and the young man puts the emphasis on innovation.

The Zafiropulo family has acquired a genuine understanding of the land of the Cassis region and their expertise is handed down from father to son. Jonathan grew up immersed in wine with his brother Grégoire and took over the estate inherited from his parents François and Georgina Sack. He doesn’t hesitate in evoking his memories of a child living in the heart of the “cycle of the vine,” and the wonderful atmosphere of the harvest period. This former real estate agent who spent 5 years in Paris, returned to Cassis for ‘visceral’ reasons and to start a family. Intensive training on the ground, hours of specialized reading and especially encounters with colleagues, all associated with the experience transmitted by his father, made of Johnathan a winemaker in a very short time.

In the beginning, Jonathan did just like his colleagues in his approach to winemaking, but over the last two years, has decided to experiment, to improve Cassis wines, these white and rosés that originate by the sea. To do this, he champions improving the winemaking techniques, which happens first of all by renewing the equipment. His goal? “To obtain a wine with greater intensity.” Jonathan invests, under the worried eye of his father who is apprehensive, and it’s quite normal, about an upheaval: the young man overhauls the wine storehouse, replacing the vats with stainless steel, restoring the floor and the building frame, injecting modernity in to this work tool so that vinification and conservation take place under the best conditions. The first vintage will be in 2012, and is just harvested. Of course, we’d like to know what the situation is but Jonathan calms our curiosity with a “it’s too early, let’s talk again in January!” He does tell us however that his wine will be more aromatic. Its robe demands great rigor in the intermediary phases due to the danger of oxidation.

Regarding the winemaking component, Jonathan also innovates when it comes to the cultivation by replacing the dead vines, but also by planting, and by privileging the trellising of the vines on metal wire which improves the yield just as much as the quality.

Discover

Le Clos Sainte-Magdeleine

Avenue du Revestel

13260 Cassis

www.clossaintemagdeleine.fr

The Clos Sainte-Magdeleine Winery A Family Affair in Cassis
Jonathan Sack-Zafiropulo
Clos Sainte-Magdeleine in Cassis
Photography José Nicolas
The Clos Sainte-Magdeleine Winery A Family Affair in Cassis
Clos Sainte-Magdeleine
Cassis
Photography José Nicolas
The Clos Sainte-Magdeleine Winery A Family Affair in Cassis
Clos Sainte-Magdeleine
Cassis
Photography José Nicolas

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