Lucie was more succinct – it would never happen while Charly’s father was still officially in charge of the domaine. This “generational difference” is not as clear cut as one might think, as Robert worked for many years to plow the Nicolle vineyards and reduce the use of chemicals. Following Robert’s official retirement in 2019, Charly and Lucie were able to consolidate the various family vineyards for a total of 45 hectares of vines, and spent the next year learning the best strategies to convert a sizeable domaine to organic farming. The few neighbors who had taken this step all recommended a gradual conversion, starting with a small portion and expanding over time.
Charly and Lucie already had a demonstrated interest in organic farming. Their small parcel of Crémant has been farmed organically since she purchased the parcel in 2017, and in 2018, they began making a négoce cuvée of Vézelay with fruit sourced from an organic grower. Right after the 2020 harvest, Charly and Lucie officially converted their first 6 hectares to organic farming. These were the oldest vineyards of Chablis, Petit Chablis, and 1er Cru Mont de Milieu and Les Fourneaux vines located in Fleys that were planted by Paul Nicolle, Charly’s grandfather, and are used exclusively for the Paul Nicolle Chablis wines. The conversion to organics required a few substantial changes, such as investing in new tractors and material, hiring a few more people, and training / motivating the team to embrace the transition to organic farming.
Charly and Lucie have moved with impressive speed and determination to take this new step for the domaine and we can’t wait to taste the results.