Domaine Grosbois

Nicolas Grosbois

Country of Origin: France
Location: Chinon, Loire Valley
People: Nicolas Grosbois, Owner & Winemaker
Viticulture: Certified Biodynamic


Nicolas Grosbois grew up in a Chinon winemaking family that dates back to 1820, but needed to set out on his own to find his niche in the winemaking world. He traveled and worked with winemakers and terroirs as diverse as can be—from Minervois, Chile, New Zealand, Australia, to Oregon. When he came back to the Loire to take over the family domaine in 2005, he had big ideas about revolutionizing their practices. His philosophy centered around the idea of micro-site specificity. He wanted his Cabernet Franc bottlings to reflect the 13 unique plots of vines on the Panzoult Hill, all of which had been strategically planted according to their geological characteristics. His theory was that his different soils, comprising mostly limestone and clay, would play out in different personalities for the wines.

Once in the cellar, he lets the grapes speak for themselves, keeping a light hand at winemaking. He ferments in open concrete tanks with indigenous yeast, uses no oak and minimal filtration, so what you find in the final wine is a pure expression of a teeny parcel of Chinon. These are true bistro wines: food friendly and easy to drink with a succulent complexity. Not a lot of pretension, not a lot of cosmetic surgery—just fresh fruit and a whole lot of personality. Nicolas Grosbois may be spending a lot of time thinking about soils, but you’ll just be thinking about getting another glass.

Media Links
Richard Kelly Guide to Loire - Grower Profile: Nicolas Grosbois

Vinous 10/2021
"While most of the current generation’s parents moved away from mixed-farming “polyculture” to concentrate solely on vines, the Grosbois boys are turning back the clock. Located in a rather remote part of the Chinon appellation, the organic estate is now home to biodynamically grown wheat, fruit trees, vegetables, forest-dwelling pigs, and cattle as well as vines. Brothers Sylvain and Nicolas Grosbois have both traveled extensively, from Chile to New Zealand and Oregon, but they’ve finally come home. It’s a hands off approach here: manual picking, wild yeast, no SO2 in ferments, coolish red ferments (25–28˚C) to preserve the fruit, and long macerations but with few pumpovers. Oak is not favored; concrete is the order of the day. The result is fruit-filled, succulent wines that have masses of drinkability."

Vinous 7/2020
"Located in Le Pressoir in Panzoult in the heart of Chinon, Domaine Grosbois has 15 hectares of mostly Cabernet Franc on clay and limestone. 'It’s a bit of a trend to make whites in Chinon,' said Sylvain Grosbois, 'but we prefer to stay with Cabernet Franc.' Sylvain’s brother, Nicolas, is the driving force here. After years of working in Australia, New Zealand, Chile and the US, Nicolas returned to his family’s vineyard in 2008 to take over from his parents, bringing some New World perspective. Domaine Grosbois has been organic since 2008 and was certified biodynamic in 2016."