Domaine Saint Nicolas works toward protecting a unique maritime area where an exceptional microclimate exists for wine production. In 2011, with the creation of the AOC, the domaine became entitled to the “Fiefs-Vendéens Brem” appellation. The 40-hectares of land surrounded by the ocean, forests and salt marshes are composed of clay, schist & quartz. Enhanced by biodynamic methods and polyculture, the vineyards create high quality wines from a variety of different grapes. Three generations of the Michon family have been steadily reviving the wines of Brem. In 1995, Thierry Michon introduced biodynamic methods to the whole vineyard. He now works with his two sons, Antoine and Mickael.
How do you like them grapes: Pinot Noir, Négrette, Cabernet Franc, Gamay, Chenin, Chardonnay and Groslot Gris.
In the vineyard: Biodynamics (certified Demeter (1998) and Biodyvin (1995)). From young vines to the oldest ones, the working process in the fields is purely natural. Only one organic addition is made: manure compost. Furthermore, in compliance with biodynamic principles, preparations, infusions (nettles, horsetail, among others) are used to nurture the soil and support the vines as they grow. This natural addition of compost is made only on the surface to prevent any damage in the other layers of soil. This of course means that the harvesting of the vines is done painstakingly by hand, ensuring the quality of the wine is kept intact. Vineyards are ploughed by horse.
In the winery: The grapes are harvested by hand. The whites and rosés undergo pneumatic pressing and vinification in stainless steel vats for the mid-range cuvées and in casks for the “plot” cuvées, while the red wines are usually vinified in wooden casks and the terroir cuvées in barrels and foudres. All ferments are done with native yeasts at low temperatures. Wines are bottled without filtration (or light filtration) and zero fining. Sulphur is used at bottled, according to the needs of the wine.
QI: Thierry is the prophet of biodynamics in this tiny viticultural area. His vineyards never see a non-organic product. He raises his own cows simply for the manure they produce which he religiously spreads between the vines. He has slowly purchased buffer zones all around his property to prevent chemical products from other winemakers from seeping into his parcels. For him, biodynamics isn’t just a pragmatic consideration, it’s a religion. The other interesting point is that, a stone’s throw from the Atlantic, these are probably the westernmost vines in France.
The Key Wines:
2020 Les Clous
2019 Le Haut des Clous
2020 Gamme d’Ete Rouge
2020 Gamme d’Ete Rose
Food match: The dry whites make a perfect with oysters from Brittany (and elsewhere). The light reds and rose with rillettes and terrine. More structured reds with game.
Philosophy: “Wine is made in the vineyard. In biodynamics, you quickly realize that we give birth to unique wines” – Thierry Michon.
Interested in trying the wines of Domaine St. Nicolas? Contact us directly:
*Note: We are still open for business, doing deliveries, and keen
to help everyone with their booze needs in this difficult time.
Natural wine lovers can visit our online shop and order online!