THE PASCAL JOLIVET HOUSE
The Jolivet family entered the world of wine in 1926, when the Société de négoce Jolivet et fils was created. Until then, Louis Jolivet and Lucien Jolivet had succeeded each other as cellar masters at the Château de Tracy. Louis and Lucien made their selection, bought in bulk, bottled and marketed their wines in the Sancerre region.
Jacques Jolivet, son of Lucien, develops this activity while creating a beverage distribution structure. Wine is a passion for him and he recommends his son Pascal to become, at the age of 22, an agent for the famous Champagne house of Pommery which he still represents today. In 1983, Jacques Jolivet acquired a small trading company “Les Grands Vins du Val de Loire” and offered his eldest son Pascal, then aged 25, to take over the management.
Gérard Boyer, three-starred chef at the restaurant "Les Crayères" in Reims (one of Pascal's very first customers and friend), then suggested to him the idea of promoting his name to develop his estate and his own brand.
The birth of the brand
In 1987, Pascal, then a stockbreeder, created the "Pascal Jolivet" brand.
Pascal needed a better infrastructure to grow and make his own wine. He therefore invested in 1990 to create a cellar in Sancerre equipped with a temperature-controlled stainless steel vat room inspired by facilities in the Champagne region. Realization ultra modern at that time in the Sancerrois.
Pascal Jolivet, still having no vines in 1990, decided to go against the modern oenology methods of the time. He hires a young oenologist, Jean Luc Soty, with the idea of creating his own style based on natural vinification with indigenous 100% yeasts.
In 1993, Jacques Jolivet proposed to his son Pascal to buy from their cousins a magnificent vineyard of 6 hectares on the most beautiful terroirs of Bué-en-Sancerre: Le Chêne Marchand, Le Grand Chemarin and the Plante des Prés. Maison Pascal Jolivet was born.
The first Pouilly Fumé vines were purchased in 1995, 6.5 hectares in Tracy sur Loire. From the 1995 and 1996 vintages, two consecutive years, the emblematic magazine Wine Spectator recognized Sancerre Blanc "Pascal Jolivet" in the top 100 of the best wines of the year.
Building on this success, a new cellar was built in 2001 with the idea of respecting the principle of gravity from the arrival of the grapes until bottling. The house then continues to grow and today includes 120 hectares between Sancerre and Pouilly sur Loire, 60 hectares in Touraine for "Attitude". These 120 hectares now represent approximately 80% of the production of "Signature" wines, the other 20% being purchased from winegrower partners who have been loyal to the house since the 1980s.
Over the years, Pascal has developed a real style for his wines, very identifiable by its purity and elegance. Pascal creates an "organic vinification", after a very light settling, the fermentation of the juices is carried out with indigenous yeasts, the aging "on the lees" plays a fundamental role in the concentration and complexity of our wines. The process is extremely natural and the very long fermentations make it possible to sustainably nourish and stabilize the wines by using very low doses of sulphur.
A unique identity
The constant attention to detail will allow Jolivet wines to develop their uniqueness over the years. In 2013, after the departure of his historic oenologist, Pascal hired a very young and talented Italian oenologist, Valentina Buoso, who had the particularity of having carried out research on indigenous yeasts. Pascal's idea is to amplify the fruit of his wines by giving them even more elegance and precision. The bet is successful, from the first vintage 2013, Valentina does a remarkable job, the Sancerre is extremely pure, refined with immense subtlety. The Pouilly Fumé is more structured with a strong character. In both cases, the texture of the wines exhibits extremely integrated liveliness and fruit.
In his logic of research and authenticity, Pascal started a partnership in 2016 with the Dauny family, pioneers of organic farming in Sancerre in 1966. Pascal is relying this time on 50 years of experience and entrusts Benoit Dauny responsibility for the management of the 145 hectares of the estate which will henceforth produce grapes from organic farming.
"Making a wine is a nice way to be creative, an art form that requires both a quality of listening and nature to perceive and understand its messages. The magic operates during the transformation of the reasons into juice and then into wine and gives voice to the terroir."
"Making a wine is a nice way to be creative, an art form that requires both a quality of listening and nature to perceive and understand its messages. The magic operates during the transformation of reasons and juices then into wine and gives voice to the terroir."
Today, the Pascal Jolivet estate extends over 120 hectares between Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé, 60 hectares in Touraine for Attitude.
Balance, freshness and precision: the Pascal Jolivet style
When the terroir, know-how and patience reveal and sublimate the complexities of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir.
"Talent and taste are not enough, only style counts" P. Cardin