Domaine Pattes-Loup (which translates as wolf's paw) is one of the most interesting estates to emerge from Chablis in recent years. Thomas Pico inherited 2.4 hectares of vines from his family’s estate that had been producing correct, but uninspiring wines. Thomas worked with Alice and Olivier de Moor who were pioneers in organic viticulture in Chablis and they helped him set up his estate in Courgis which is just outside Chablis. Thomas wanted to improve the quality of his wines and take a leap in a new direction. Against the wishes of his father, he began a program of strict yield control and a conversion to organic viticulture despite being in an inhospitable vinegrowing region: The humid climate of Chablis can encourage pests so it is difficult to follow organic practices.
Thomas harvests everything by hand and ferments all his wines using indigenous yeasts. He does a 14-16 month élévage on the wines and bottles without fining and filtration. He ferments about 30% of his Chablis in concrete egg-shaped fermenters with the balance in stainless steel.
Thomas Pico is making extraordinary wines for someone so young. I was thrilled to visit him in 2017 and was impressed by the quality of the wines I tasted. His passion, enthusiasm and drive for perfection made a lasting impression.