Founded in 1900 by Edmond Tacussel, in the town of Châteauneuf-du-Pape (in the Rhône Valley), this wine estate received its current moniker in 1910. Edmond struck gold quite early on, as some of the very first cuvées he released were absolutely loved by connoisseurs all over the world. A lot of prestigious restaurants were even asking for his wines back then. Especially big American names, which had to go against the Prohibition laws in effect during the 1930’s in order to get some of those famous bottles on their tables.
When Edmond died, his estate stayed in the family. His son Guy Maurel took the helm of the Clos Saint-Jean in 1957, and his two sons Pascal and Vincent inherited everything. The brothers are much attached to the heritage their superstar of a grandad left for them. They even have an homage cuvée called "La Combe des Fous" (which translated to "The Hill of the Madmen" in English). The name is a reference to all the winemakers in the region, who thought that Edmond was crazy for planting his vineyard on a hill they all believed to be infertile.
Today, the Clos Saint-Jean vineyard stretches over 40 hectares of land, planted in a clay and limestone soil, rich in small pebbles and sediments. Five cuvées are produced here, such as the Châteauneuf-du-Pape, the Deus Ex Machina or the aforementioned Combe des Fous. The grapevines are well cared for, using natural methods and products, according to the established (and very strict) rules of organic agriculture. The estate has a quite low output, so these Rhône wines are highly sought after by people who are in the know. They may not cost much, but they might be on the same level as some of the bigger names out there!