Julien Cécillon

Rhône / France

At A Glance


Julien Cécillon and Nancy Kerschen


Crozes-Hermitage, Saint-Joseph





Their Story

“I believe that the terroir differentiates our parcels; each one is unique.” — Nancy Kerschen

Cave Julien Cécillon was founded in 2011 and is the beloved project of winemakers Julien Cécillon and Nancy Kerschen. With vineyards in the appellations of Saint Joseph and Crozes-Hermitage in France’s Northern Rhone Valley, the estate is dedicated to producing elegant, terroir-driven wines.

American Nancy Kerschen, and Julien Cécillon, a native of Tournon-sur-Rhône and nephew of Jean Louis Grippat, met through an enduring fascination with both wine and international travel. In 2011, having combined experiences working for various international wineries (Yves Cuilleron, Christophe Curtat, Fabrice Gripa, JC Cellars, Clos du Val, Saintsbury, Indevin and Saronsberg) the two decided to embark on their own winemaking endeavour. Cave Julien Cécillon is the product of that union.


Mid Post Image
Their Crozes-Hermitage parcel on Lieu-dit Pierre Aiguille (needle stone) faces south-east.

Respecting the unique environment of each appellation, the estate applies sustainable grape-growing techniques in the vineyard to achieve the best expression of terroir. All work is done by hand. Vines density is 8,000 to 10,000 vines/ha. Yields are 32 to 40 hl/ha. The domaine is close to AB organic certification and starting in 2017, plowing is done by horse to work the granit soil.

In the cellar, the syrah clusters are entirely destemmed. Maceration and crushing occurs in open stainless-steel and fiberglass tanks for 28 to 34 days. Each parcel is vinified separately; wild yeast fermentation, pigéage (punch downs) and pump overs occur weekly. The parcels are blended after malolactic fermentation occurs in used french barriques. Élevage is not rushed lasting anywhere between 12 to 15 months for the Crozes-Hermitage and 16-20 months for the St. Joseph.

“In the cave we let nature do its work, very moderate use of sulfur, but nothing else (native yeasts).” — Nancy and Julian Cécillon

Interview with Nancy and Julian Cécillon

Where were you born and raised? Nancy: Born and raised in Houston, Texas. // Julien: I’m a native of Tournon sur Rhone, from a family of vignerons on my mother’s side for 10 generations. I’m the eleventh generation (my uncle: Jean-Louis Grippat). If you could briefly describe your approach in the vineyard what would it be? An integrated viticulture that encompasses the best techniques from Organics, Biodynamics, and observing the vines and disease prevention (planning to convert to Organic by 2020). What excites you most about your vineyards? I’m passionate about the variety of roles between the vineyard and the cellar. You have to do everything to be successful and we never have enough time to get bored. I love the vineyards and Nancy is like me, it’s fascinating to watch the vines wake up from winter, rise towards the sun, and produce beautiful grapes. Also, learning from our terroirs, observing them in order to understand how the sun, the varietal, the climate, and our work interact – it’s an act of magic and has many beautiful surprises in store for us. It would take hours upon hours to describe, on the whole, everything that pleases us about this wonderful profession, and maybe we should add the fact that we live through the seasons more connected. Our bodies are connected to winter, spring, summer, and fall; this cycle realigns us with nature and it’s a good feeling. If you could say one thing to the sommeliers who are introducing people to your wines for the first time, what would it be? A research in elegance, finesse, and a femininity in its expression (little extraction in the cellar, and all the work of the vine to find quality from a very deeply rooted root system). What is your favorite type of music? Nancy: So much music, so little time. I like almost all genres, and anything that gets me dancing! If I had to pick, I'd probably say my all time favorite musician is David Bowie. // Julien: Difficult question since I like to listen to everything possible, according to my mood and my emotions, that could be reggae, rock, classical music, 70s French music to rap… no limits, like for the wine (I like to discover new horizons every day)! Today, my favorite is Esther Philips, Tonight I’ll be Staying Here with You. If you could have any superhero power, what would you choose? Nancy: teleportation. I want to be able to go anywhere, at anytime. // Julien: To be able to slow time so I can do more in a day.