'The goal for a domain my size is to find the right balance. I would love to go even more extreme in my practices if I could, as it is the right way to go!'
Located in Vandières, in the beautiful Vallée de La Marne, Domaine Nowack is a family winery that has seen some big changes in the last decade, particularly with the introduction of Flavien Nowack, who joined the family winery in 2011, and has slowly taken over the reins of the operations.
Like in most successions between generations, changes are slow, and have to reflect and engage with the overall philosophy of the estate. Having been established in Vandières since 1795, and involved in Champagne production since the late 1900’s, Flavien has a profound respect for his family's legacy, meaning he always preferred to do changes from the inside out rather than jumping on trends every year. His first goal was to display the difference between Meunier, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from three single parcels at the same elevation all within his home village of Vandières.
The soil types here are quite various but predominantly sand and clay. Today, he vinifies 6 cuvées from 7 hectares of vineyards.
In order to translate the minerality and energy of his terroir, Flavien allows his wines to be exposed to the right level of oxygen in the cellar as well as initiated a big campaign of tree plantation in 2018. He has since replanted more than 100 trees in and around his Crus. The grapes are pressed slowly and for a long period (he developed a special technique with his uncle, an electrician) and most of his wines are aged in barrels on their lees, allowing them to evolve with the season. During the secondary fermentation, each bottle is bottled under cork, allowing the wine to absorb some oxygen and for Flavien, results in a more pristine taste. The dosage, if necessary, is done with grape must, which helps to retain freshness.