She swapped the roads and the airports for the vines

For the vines: Nathalie Jeannot has left her position as head of one of the services of a large laboratory to become a winegrower. Portrait. By Antonia Jimenez. Roads, airports, management, seminars, turnover, balance sheets, dashboards, strategy ?? is the past for Nathalie Jeannot. Today, the bitumen of European capitals has given way to the land of Marseille, more precisely the vineyards of the domain of the Pegolotti family. “Companion of Isabelle, the daughter of René and Henriette Pegolotti, I came regularly during the Christmas holidays, I helped the family for the size, I loved this time, the natural rhythm of the work of the vine, at human speed, “recalls the ex-city dweller, passionate about wine. But between drinking and producing …! ”

A need to “change pace”

The wine was no longer vinified in the family winery since 1985, which was no more than a big storeroom. The operation was running slowly. Isabelle’s brother, Laurent, carried the harvest to the cooperative, cultivating only 80% of the original 25 ha. “It’s been a few years since I felt a need to change pace, the numbers, the airports, the management, I had more than enough, I was looking for, without really looking for another life.” It was during one of his Christmas size that everything rocked, “in a slow moment of emptiness, that was what I wanted to do!” That, the vine, the earth, the wine. Nathalie was ready. She talks to Laurent about his idea. That echoes his project of new life. The project will only take a year to materialize. But we do not improvise winegrowers. After writing an action plan, Nathalie resumes operations in May.

From the action plan to the realization

She created a Farm Limited Liability (EARL) in November 2011. “I also salute Laurent’s courage, that of rethinking together the new conduct of the vineyard, the goal being to gradually win the winemaking ourselves. We have chosen to start by vinification only 10% of the harvest, the rest goes to the cooperative. ” At the same time, the real work of restructuring the vineyard begins. A project over 8 years. Progressive uprooting and replanting. “A titanic job, not to mention the renovation of the cellar, the purchase of all the necessary equipment”. And to train. The former manager follows throughout 2012 a training in viticulture-oenology two days a week at the Adult Education Center in Montpellier.

The Renaissance

A year later, the neo-winemaker is working on an organic conversion of the vineyard, as well as biodiversity, in collaboration with the ecologists of Euzières, the conservatory of natural areas and the federation of PGIs. It is formed to self-diagnosis in biodiversity, wants to implement grassing … A return to nature that the winegrower prefers to call “rebirth”. Free lunchtime article:,624900.php


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