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 2020, Christian is still at the head of the estate, his daughter Claire joined the adventure to share his passion for tasting through the sale and representation of the Estate. Sylvain is still the estate manager, accompanied by Cyril in the vineyard.
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.