Nicolas Pavie completed his first vintage from start to finish in 2015, with just 1.8 hectares of vines in the sleepy village of Theize in the South of Beaujolais. Since then, he’s tinkered with the recipe for his wines every year, incorporated a new tool in the vineyard, and has slowed down the pace to find better harmony with nature.
Originally from Normandy, Nicolas, like many from that rather remote corner of France, left his home for the cities in pursuit of an education and career. After completing his degree, he felt he wanted to move away from the pace and demands of society and in turn felt called to the countryside, to return to the slower pace and calming effect that being amongst nature brings.
His interest in wine led him to work alongside some fairly reputable winemakers in France; what’s interesting about Nicolas is that he’s evidently hesitant to share too much about those experiences, and while it would be incredibly easy to add value to Nicolas’s wines by name-dropping that information here, I prefer to respect his privacy and not disclose it without consent. What’s important to know is that the pedigree of winemaking focuses on extremely diligent watch over the vineyards, pruning with precision to keep yields low and maintaining excellent sanitary conditions of the grapes when they’re harvested. In the cellar, time, and patience, is prioritised.
Nicolas’s choice to move to the vines was made with the intention to slow down his pace of life, and in 2017 he found a tool that he felt helped mimic the slow, quiet pace of nature: the grelinette. It’s a manual device that turns over soil at the base of vines without too much disturbance of the cover crop. It seems to be the thing he’s most eager to talk about with regards to his work in the vines, and stands to be emblematic of Nicolas’s project at large. With his grelinette and a small cellar, Nicolas quietly, humbly, produces some of the most exciting wines to come out of Beaujolais we’ve tasted so far this year, and we are eager to share that experience with you.