Third generation vigneron, Thomas Pico, took over the work instilled by his grandfather in 2004. Pico’s grandfather planted and worked his terroir with selection massale in the hillsides near Courgis and Preys, the two highest altitude villages within Chablis, with vineyards up to 300 meters. It was in the 1970’s when Pico’s father took over the domaine, growing the business until 2004.
In 2004, Pico returned back to his home town of Courgis after completing his studies of viticulture and oenology in Beaune. Pico began farming 8 hectares of vines immediately converting the vineyards to organic. In 2006, Pico released his first wines under the Pattes Loup label founded on the principles of organic farming, low yield harvesting, and minimal intervention. In 2009, the domaine was certified Agriculture Biologique by ECOCERT. Pico quickly gained a reputation locally and internationally as one of Chablis’ most exciting vignerons releasing wines with only one issue, there wasn’t enough.
In August of 2011, Antonio Galloni professed, “Pattes Loup is arguably the single most exciting young domaine in Chablis today… Stylistically, Pico’s wines remind me of the laser-like focus of Cedric Bouchard‘s Champagnes combined with the richness and inner sweetness found in the wines of the late Didier Dagueneau. Simply Put, these are some of the most ground-breaking, intensely captivating wines being made in Chablis today.”
All work at the domaine is done by hand. Only indigenous yeasts are used in the cellar and élevage occurs on the lees at cold temperatures for 14 to over 30 months. Malolactic fermentation begins and finishes naturally. Pico works with a combination of concrete egg shaped fermenters along with stainless steel tanks and used French oak of different sizes depending on the cuvée. The wines are never fined or filtered before bottling. Since the start of his domaine, Pico is evolving and is always fine tuning his decisions in the cellar. Over the years, he has decreased the amount of his sulphur use, extended élevage, and is now using expensive Portuguese wood corks for bottling believing, “the cork is my finishing touch.”