After a first career as land manager for Savoie’s Chamber of Agriculture and a first vinification in 2010 Nicolas Ferrand realized that his career wasn’t meant to be behind a desk. Then he followed by few experiences at Michel Grisard and Pascal Quenard and eventually started his own estate. In 2013 Nicolas managed to start with 2ha of vineyard called “Champs Roux” (russet fields in English). In this first parcel the soil is composed of russet-colored clay soils, that you can find during harvest and fall season when the sun reflect on the slope. The name of Côtes Rousses (Russet Slope in English) comes after this really first parcel. Later the estate holding grew to 5.5ha the maximum size for Nicolas to be able to work according to his organic philosophy.
Most of Nicolas’s holding (5ha) are located in the village of Saint Jean de la Porte overlooking the Combe de Savoie. The Southern exposure vineyards in the Massif des Bauges combine with lower altitude benefits from a microclimate similar to a meridional climate. The presence of truffles, almond trees, cicadas, as well as plenty of wild herbs illustrate the beneficial environment.
Nicolas’s vineyards are planted between 350 meters and 580 meters altitude at density of 10,000 vines/ha on a 40% steep slope with a majority of Mondeuse, Altesse and Jacquère. Although due to the historical nursery business in this area, he also got a small proportion of vineyard planted in Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Nicolas got two other vineyards outside of Saint Jean de la Porte.
Montmélian: 0.15ha of Chigning Bergeron planted in Roussane in 2014 on a south exposed plot with limestone scree subsoil.
Monthoux: 0.20ha of Rousette planted in Altesse on a slope with limestone and clay subsoil and a South West exposure.
Vineyards are farmed organically with few Biodynamic inputs here and there and lot of manual labour, such as winch ploughing or even use of horses if possible.
The winery located at “La Motte Servolex” is at 30 minutes drive from his Saint Jean de la Porte vineyard. Vinification as gentle as possible with pressing and light settling for whites while gentle infusion for reds with few pump over. Wines are then aged either in oak barrel, stainless steel tank or even terracotta amphora. Wines are naturally fermented using natural yeast from the vineyard. No use of SO2 during the vinification but Nicolas might add few drop before bottling if needed.