Owner of the estate he bought in 2008 with his Burgundian wife Anne-Claude Leflaive, who has since passed away, Christian Jacques’ main passion is sailing and he likes to dock in Lisbon to sail to the islands of Madeira or the Azores. It was on one of these sailing trips that two wines from Clau de Nell arrived as messages in bottles to Tati so that we could discover the wines of this place. We, on the other hand, put our luggage in the farm’s dormitory when we went to explore the Anjou wine-growing area and were welcomed with great hospitality by the Sylvain Potin we see in the photos, who is now in charge of both the vineyard and the cellar. Cultivated since 2000 following biodynamic principles, the 12 hectares of vines grow surrounded by woods and cereal fields, in a soil that is more reminiscent of Saumur due to its limestone base (we are on the edge of that appellation) than the schistose and volcanic Anjou Noir of Rablay sur Layon or Faye d’Anjou. Historically, the red grape varieties Cabernet Franc, Grolleau and Cabernet-sauvignon made up the majority of the 8 hectares. Since Anne-Claude and Christian’s arrival, and Sylvain in 2009, Chenin blanc has taken over the estate with 4.5 hectares planted today. The heritage of old vines of red grape varieties over 60 years old is high, the wines are aged in barrels in an amphitheater that looks like a mystical temple carved out of the limestone rock. They are wines to be kept and allowed to blossom slowly, like this Grolleau 2011 with which we were initiated in the Clau de Nell. So as not to be just a slogan not followed up by effects, the wines on sale are always aged for at least 4 years in red and 2 and a half years in white. The collective team dynamic is symbolized by the large kitchen where each member of the estate has to alternately prepare lunch for everyone during the week, in a relaxed atmosphere that combines rural spirit with demanding practices in the management of the vineyards and the wine.