Collection: Nicolas Maillet

If you’ve ever harboured dreams of retiring with your own vineyard and lazing away amidst the vines, then a visit to Nicolas Maillet in Verzé is not advised as it may pop the bubble. Winemaking and vineyard care is damn hard work and nobody knows this better than our own Gavin Keogh.

Gavin spent a harvest with Nicolas a few years back and he still remembers the exhaustion he experienced after putting in massive 16 hour shifts at the grape press. Basket after basket of Nicolas’ organic grapes kept coming and by the time Nicolas invited Gavin to a local bar for a wind-down drink, he could barely hold the glass of beer.

Of course it’s not all so serious and Nicolas is a man you’d gladly share a drink with. Gregarious, welcoming and prone to dramatic gesticulations and expressions, he exemplifies winemaking as a way of life rather than a nine-to-five job. Everything here is done by hand and he even sorts the grapes twice; once in the vineyard and a second time in the winery. The grapes that don’t make the cut he sells to a local co-op as he doesn’t feel they are good enough for his estate.

A plus for many Chardonnay fans is that Nicolas is averse to using oak even going so far as to say, “I hate barrels generally. I want to taste the purity.” His organic approach extends to everything he does, eschewing chemicals in any instance. This is why he imports 100% natural Portuguese cork rather than using synthetic ones which are made with glue. A fantastic winemaker with seriously good wines.