THE LITTLE STORY :
Joseph Nicolet is the precursor in the history of the family estate. Indeed, in 1875, in the property, one cultivates mainly cereals, olive trees and only 1 ha of vines. As a passionate winemaker, Joseph enlarged the vineyard by 2 hectares between 1912 and 1919.
After obtaining an honorary diploma in 1924, he created the “Nicolet” cellar in 1926. Joseph’s three children work at the estate. Little by little, the cereal culture is abandoned and the plantations of vines progress. The marriage of Rosalie Nicolet, one of Joseph’s daughters, with Maurice Leyraud, father, gave the name of “Cave Nicolet-Leyraud” and until 1982, the property was operated as a GFA (Groupement Foncier Agricole). Bernard and his brother Maurice Leyraud son formed a GAEC in 1982 for the property which reached an area of 20 ha. The wines are then marketed under the name “Domaine Grand Nicolet”.
In 1989, Jean-Pierre Bertrand discovered viticulture and got involved in the work of the vine and wine with the 2 Leyraud brothers. In 1990, in addition to his passion for the vines, he married the daughter of Bernard Leyraud and in 1994, he created an EARL with Maurice and Bernard. In 1999, the two brothers retired and Jean-Pierre continued to perpetuate the family tradition.
THE VINEYARD :
The vineyard covers 31 hectares: 3.5 hectares in Sablet and 27.5 in Rasteau. The terroir of Sablet is a sandy-limestone soil which allows to obtain tasty and fruity wines. The terroir of Rasteau is a clay-limestone soil, composed of red and yellow clays with veins of blue marl which makes it possible to produce complex, powerful wines that keep well. The grape varieties grown are only red grape varieties: Grenache, Syrah, Carignan, Mourvèdre or Cinsault. The exposure of the vines is on the South-East slopes. The average age of the vineyard is 45 years with Grenaches over 80 years old.
The harvest is done manually with a strict sorting of the grapes. We carry out destemming, pumping over, shedding and pigeage depending on the type of wine we wish to produce. We check the fermentation temperatures daily. The vatting period is 20 to 35 days. For ageing, we use, depending on our cuvées, amphoras, concrete vats or even barrels.