In 1926, the Jolivet Family – Father Louis, son Lucien – entered the world of wine.
This date marks the establishment of the Jolivet and Son wine merchant company. Until then, Louis and Lucien had succeeded one another as cellar masters of Château de Tracy, which is located in the Pouilly Fumé appellation in France's Loire Valley. Louis and Lucien used to select the grapes, bought in bulk, and bottle and sell the wines over the Sancerre area.
In 1982 Jacques, the son of Lucien, founded his own beverage distributing compagny: Les Grands Vins du Val de Loire. As a passionate wine master, he encouraged his eldest son Pascal, then 22, to work as a sales agent of the Maison Pommery Champagne house. Nowadays, Pascal still represents Maison Pommery. In that same year, Jacques asked Pascal to run Les Grands Vins du Val de Loire.
In 1986 Gérard Boyer – a close friend to Pascal and one of his very first customers as the three-star chef of the restaurant les Crayères in Reims in Champagne – urges Pascal to set up his own wine brand under his own name.
In 1987 Pascal as a wine marker and merchant creates the "Pascal Jolivet" brand. To facilitate this development and produce his own range of wines, Pascal builds a brand new winery in 1990. Inspired by Champenois facilities that he knew so well, Jolivet's wine-making cellar in Sancerre is equipped with temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks; the facilities are state-of-the-art.
In 1993, Jacques Jolivet suggests Pascal acquire a beautiful vineyard of six hectares (15 acres) from their cousins, which is located in the greatest terroirs of Bué en Sancerre: Le Chêne Marchand, le Grand Chemarin and la Plante des Près. And so Domaine Pascal Jolivet was born!
In 1995, the first Pouilly Fumé vineyard of 6.5 hectares (16 acres) was bought in Tracy-sur-Loire. Reporting on Jolivet's Sancerre vintages from 1995 and 1996.
Wine Spectator magazine ranked Pascal Jolivet's white Sancerre among the top 100 best wines of the year twice, a remarkable back-to-back achievement.
THE GROWTH OF PASCAL JOLIVET
Encouraged by these successes, a new cellar was built in 2000 that uses the natural effects of gravity, from harvesting the grapes to the bottling of the wine.
The estate continued to expand. Today, it covers 120 hectares between Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé, 60 hectares in Touraine for "Attitude". These 120 hectares produce 80% of the whole domain; 20% has been sourced from faithful growers loyal to Pascal Jolivet since the 1980s.
Over the years, Pascal has developed his unique and recognizable pure and elegant style of wines. Pascal practices biodynamic winemaking, which in viticultural terms, views the farm as a cohesive, interconnected living system. Such practices extend from the vineyard to the careful handling of the fruit post-harvest in the winery. In Jolivet's winery following harvest, vinification begins with light must settling followed by juice fermentation with indigenous yeasts; next, maturation on lees is fundamental for the concentration and the complexity of all Jolivet wines. The process is extremely natural and the slow fermentations nourish and sustainably stabilise the wines using very low levels of sulphur.