Clau de nell is first and foremost a story rich in human adventures.
It all started with a company called CLAC, which was created by Anne-Claude Leflaive, her husband Christian Jacques and the famous soil microbiologists Claude and Lydia Bourguignon in 2006. The idea was to help French biodynamic winegrowers to export their wines abroad.
In 2006, Anne Claude and Christian met the owners of the Clau de Nell estate. A domain with high potential, located in the Loire valley – in Ambillou-Château – established on a soil composed of clay, flint and tuffeau stone. Magnificent vines with an average age of 60 years, with some over a hundred years of age. Eight hectares of Cabernet Franc, Grolleau but also Cabernet Sauvignon.
2008 was a complicated year for the young owners. In view of the potential of the vines and the terroir, of Biodynamic cultivation since 2000, Anne-Claude and Christian decided to come to their aid, and to buy the estate to overcome bankruptcy. After an intense year, the young owners decided to leave and look for another life.
In 2009, Sylvain Potin joined the team as a manager, with his experiences in the world of biodynamics.
In 2012, 1.5 hectares of Chenin were planted.
In 2017, 0.5 hectares of Grolleau.
In 2018, 1.5 hectares of additional Chenin.
In 2021, Clau de Nell reveals his 5th cuvee Blanc de Noir.
In 2023, the permanent team of the estate is now complete with Christian in charge, supported by Sylvain as manager. Cyril takes care of the vines and Arnaud of the cellar. Sonia is at the administration.
The 3 daughters of Anne-Claude and Christian now all have a professional activity in the world of wine and one foot in the family estate :
Marine builds the future winery of the domain and manage her eco-dynamic architecture agency specializing in wineries : www.atelierzerocarbone.com
Charlotte takes care of the export and communication of the domain and manage her events agency specializing in wine fairs : www.leflaivetranquille.com
Claire represents the domain in Burgundy and manage her wine and dining shop in Beaune : www.instagram.com/enstase
At Clau de Nell, nature is essential, it is a philosophy of life. Letting nature take its course also means knowing how to grasp what is happening and how it will happen.
Welcome then to the natural encounter between the unforeseen and its happy hazards. This is how Sylvain, the manager, joined the estate: through connections. It was during a walk in the vineyard that Anne-Claude decided to hire him. He had already acquired great experience in biodynamics in South America. He knew what nature has to give and how to respect it so that the terroir and the vintage are expressed at best, as close as possible to their truth.
This simple and demanding approach is the identity of life at the estate. During the harvest, the kitchen becomes the heart of discussions, a unique space dedicated to the life of a team united by hard work and commitment for quality.