The terroirs are the pride of the estate. This explains the respect for such a privileged environment and the passion for detail at every stage of working the vines. It is not enough simply to have the right grape varieties and the right soil types. You have to take care of them. It is with this in mind that Nathalie cares for her vines with passion and love. Observation is the key to knowing if the vines are in good health or if they are short of something. There is no irrigation system on the estate: the terroir expresses itself naturally. "Because of its position, the Domaine is always fanned by a wind from the north blowing towards the sea," Nathalie insists that "even at the height of a heatwave the vines are protected."
Nurture and nourish the vines to produce quality grapes, this is the philosophy of the Domaine de Nizas.
The estate has been using sustainable viticulture methods since 2007 and respects strict rules to encourage biodiversity::
- As little herbicide as possible
- More mechanical work (use of harvesting machines on cordon de royat spur- trained vines and manual picking on young vines and old bush or gobelet vines)
- Manual grape sorting
- 2½ ton skips
All these initiatives protect the grape. "We make sure that the plant has everything that it needs." Since her arrival Nathalie has introduced systematic analysis to check that the plants have everything they need. Each vine benefits from a personalised treatment.
Carefully selected plots of land
The Domaine de Nizas history is not only the story of a terroir, but also the story of people passionate about wines and terroirs. In 1998 John Goelet, an American descendant of a Bordeaux family of wine merchants, bought an estate in Pezenas (34), at the heart of the Mediterranean in lands favoured for their climate and geographic position. He chose this cradle of wine growing since ancient times, to plant his vines and begin a great adventure.
Quality grape varieties
John Goelet, a visionary in the world of wine, had an ambition to create great wines on exceptional terroirs. He entrusted Bernard Portet (agronomist-oenologist, co-founder of Clos du Val dans la Nappa Vallées ) with the task of searching the globe for the most promising terroirs. In France, Bernard Portet was seduced by the Languedoc, and particularly by the terroir situated between Caux, Nizas et Pézenas where he identified and then realised the immense potential, by selecting the most suitable blocks and the right grape varieties. The adventure was only just beginning…
The noble grape varieties identified by Bernard Portet are what make the Domaine de Nizas stand out. "Finding the right grape varieties is a long and arduous process." The presence of 60 year old Carignan vines and the selection of clones of Grenache and Syrah for the red wines ensure a diverse selection of grape varieties which contribute to the quality of the Domaine's wines. It is this palette of grape varieties which gives the distinctive and rare colour of Domaine de Nizas wines. The team's philosophy is never to rest on their laurels and to innovate constantly. The estate has been restructuring for 20 years. This programme involves meticulously selecting grape varieties for specific terroirs, pulling out old stock and replanting. In 2015, 3 hectares of Syrah were planted, comments Nathalie Arnaud Bernard (Winemaker and Technical Director). Just like grapes which take time to ripen and mature, the Domaine de Nizas has never rushed to cut corners in its quest to care for the vines. Its diligence is now paying off. The fact that 95% of the vineyard is classed AOC Coteaux du Languedoc and since 2008 the estate has produced a Languedoc Pézenas AOC is recognition of the quality of the wines produced by the estate.