After 10 years as a farm employee in the vines, amongst others, Elise Hamant took over “Les Vignes de l'Atrie” in September 2017. These are the only vines in the commune of Aizenay, 4 hectares cultivated organically with a fine diversity in the grape varieties: grey grolleau and chardonnay for the whites; gamay, black grolleau, cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon for the reds. Elise Hamant chose to introduce sheep for a few months during the winter. She likes the idea of connecting plants and animals; the presence of the sheep brings a new energy to the vine. In addition, their droppings feed the soil and the grass is well mown to start the spring.
For now, Elise works the soil with a tractor but aspires to work with a horse very soon. With the same philosophy she uses plants daily to support her vines: nettle-comfrey manure to activate the soil in spring, an infusion of horsetail to reduce the strain of disease, yarrow to refresh during periods of extreme heat... and also biodynamic preparations. She follows the lunar calendar closely in order to feel a stronger connection to her vines. Manual harvesting, natural vinification with no added sulphites (or micro-doses if necessary). All of the team at Petites Caves has fallen for the discreet charm of Elise Hamant and, of course, for her first vintage!