In the charming medieval village of Nolay, six generations of our family, the Nicolas, have succeeded each other. Back in the 1950s, we raised vines, cows and cereal crops on our land.
Bernard Nicolas started to develop the estate, and in the 1970s he decided to focus entirely on the vines in Cirey les Nolay. He had 6 hectares and sold his grapes to the Hautes Cotes a Beaune cooperative.
En 1985, après une formation et une expérience de technicien viticole, Alain rejoint son père Bernard.
His son Alain, who had training and experience in wine-making techniques, joined Bernard in the 1980s. In 1992, Alain ch anged the direction of the estate, stopping the sale of grapes to the cooperative and starting to sell wine produced and bottled on the estate. He moved to sustainable wine production, using traditional growing and wine-making methods.
Today, the estate has over 18 hectares, mostly Hautes Côtes de Beaune but also Santenay and Saint Romain. We carry out the entire wine-making process on the estate.
In 2019, Mylene and Benoit became official partners with their father. Mylene has studied the business side of wine-making, and Benoit has a degree in oenology, and this combination is enabling the estate to take a new dynamic direction, full of ambition and with lots of new plans.
In the Vineyard
We have 18 hectares of low-growing vines (10,000 plants per hectare). The vines are 70% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay and 5% Aligote.
Most of the wines are in Nolay and produce the appellation Hautes Côtes de Beaune, both red and white. This appellation represents approximately 16 hectares. Situated beneath the rock faces of Cirey, these vines benefit from facing due south.
Our estate has other appellations, in particular Santenay “Les Charmes”, Santenay Premier cru “Grand Clos Rousseau”, and Saint Romain “En Chevrot” red and white.
We prune our vines using “guyot” and “cordon royat” methods.
We practice traditional growing methods, using sustainable practices of preventative treatments and mechanical weeding.
We don’t use insecticides, anti-rot treatments or herbicides, because we want to protect our environement.
All this care allows us to produce high-quality grapes.
In the Cellar
Our way of working
The principal stages of wine-making, all carried out on the estate, are:
For red wines:
- We sort and select the bunches of grapes in the vineyard and again in the cellar
- We remove the grapes from the bunches
- The grapes are macerated at 12 degrees for about 5 days
- The alcoholic fermentation takes place
- We use two different processes to extract colour and tannins
- After 15 days, the juice is ready, and we put it into barrels
- We wait 12 months, making frequent checks
- The second fermentation takes place
- We filter if it’s appropriate – some wines don’t benefit from filtration
- We bottle the wine
For white wines:
- We sort and select the bunches of grapes in the vineyard
- The grapes are pressed direct from the harvest
- The lees are separated from the juice
- We put the juice into barrels just one day after the harvest
- We wait 10 months, making frequent checks
- The alcoholic fermentation and the second fermentation take place
- We blend the barrels
- We filter the wine
- We bottle the wine