Clos des Fous
I'll Drink to That!: Episode 207 - Pedro Parra
Decanter: Pedro Parra - breaking new ground
Clos des Fous is about four friends - four crazy guys that have chosen to ignore the "experts" about where to plant vineyards and to trust their own instincts. The team is viticulturist Paco Leyton, winemaker Francois Massoc, terroir hunter Pedro Parra, and "bringer of wisdom" Albert Cussen. Clos des Fous, at his heart, is a project dedicated to finding extreme terroir in Chile and then exploiting those to craft unique wines.
Pedro Parra: Pedro Parra was a jazz saxophonist before a terroir hunter. Two years out of school, his uncle offered him a job researching ‘precision agriculture’ by using maps and satellite photography. Later that same year, Pedro got a grant to go to Montpellier University, where he obtained a Master’s Degree in Land Use Code. During these 18 months, Parra studied agronomy and soil types. He also became interested in wine. He went on to gain a PhD in terroir from the prestigious Agronomic National Institute of Paris. Parra immersed himself in soils, geology, geomorphology, climate, viticulture and oenology, and spent weeks walking through the great vineyard regions of France, trying to understand what made them special. He worked for the terroir consultant Pierre Becheler in Bordeaux and was introduced to the mysteries of Burgundy by Vosne-Romanée producer Louis-Michel Liger-Belair.
Today, Parra divides his time between Clos des Fous and a terroir consultant. He consults with important vineyards in Chile, Argentina, the United States, Italy, Canada, France and Armenia, giving a new vision of terroirs to agronomists and vine growers. His passion and work has been emphasized in two occasions by Decanter, the prestigious magazine, which nominated him in the 2009 and 2011 Power List. Pedro is considered to be one of the leaders of The New Chile’s movement where he has dedicated his energy to discover new terroirs in his native country.
Albert Cussen: With extreme passion and dedication to excellence, Albert dedicates his time as Clos des Fous and Altos las Hormigas´ associate in Mendoza. Albert has a long and brilliant career in the administrative and financial world, having been CEO of many Chilean companies and Director for more than 7 years in Concha y Toro. Finally, Albert is the owner of Pucalán vineyard in Aconcagua Coast, planted with the highest standards of excellence that a Pinot Noir vineyard can have in Chile.
Paco Leyton: Paco is an oenologist and vine grower who studied at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. Since 2006 he has been a pioneer vinifying Pinot Noir in Malleco area, working in this process since 2006, in a garage way. With an extraordinary group vision, Paco is the engine who takes Clos de Fous in his blood every day. When they ask him what his roll is, he says: “I do everything the rest of the people dislike to do.” Paco along with Albert, take Clos de Fous´ logistics and management ahead.
Francois Massoc: Francois is Clos de Fous’ founding member and oenologist. Francois is today considered to be one of the best oenologists in Chile, being perhaps the most awarded by the specialized press in the last 3 years. Francois studied and worked for six years in Burgundy, where he was Munir Saouma and Louis Michel Liger Belair’s disciple, world models of high quality wines. He graduated as an oenologist in the School of Oenology of Dijon, at Burgundy, and he also has a Master’s degree in Wine Business at Dijon ESC. Francois returned to Chile in 2003, and at present develops as consulting oenologist in multiple projects in Chile.