Interview with Domaine de la Croix

We are lucked to have an interview with Mrs Diane Nublat, the Director of Domaine de La Croix for only 1 year. She answered all our questions with fantastic consideration.

Great to meet you Mrs Nublat, thank you for allowing us the time for an interview.  How did you come to manage this large winery?  
I had the chance to meet Mr Bolloré, who placed his confidence in me to manage this domain. Previously, I trained in finance, and decided to change my career few years later, to work in the wine estate, after some experience in restoration and creative businesses.

Do you have lots of pressure working in a large group such as Bolloré?
I don’t see it that way, on the contrary, we have the great opportunity  to work for a large group. There is a developing perspective and we have capacities to do things well. It’s more of an advantage than a constraint. The Domain de La Croix is the largest winery of Provence. We are trying hard to manage 90 hectares. This year, for example, we are suffering with the conditions of the vineyards due to the weather. The Bolloré group is very helpful in this kind of threat.

What is exactly the history of Domaine de La Croix?
The History of “Domaine de La Croix” is profoundly linked to the history of La Croix Valmer. Around 1882, on the way to Cogolin to buy silk, businessmen from Lyon decided to settle in the area. In 1895, the company that owned the “Domaine de La Croix”, developed the domain and built the winery. The Bolloré Groupe bought the estate of 180 ha, and 100 ha of Groupe were made into vineyards, in 2001.

Due to its history, a Domain like this had already accomplished so much, could you could identify what there was to improve?
Yes, I was able to bring a new vision thanks to my generation. I observed the market; and the competition is growing day by day. You have to be prominent whatever happens, by innovating the bottles for example, and by improving sales strategy. We could improve on both of these points. We have to get back on track concerning the range, we need to stay looking ahead 10 years, and not focusing on weary customers.

What can you tell me about the Cuvée Eloge as well as Irrésistible?
There is the same complexity on each Cuvée. But the Cuvée Irrésistible is more based on a “seaside aperitive”. Regarding the Cuvée Eloge, we wanted to make it gain in complexity and finesse, looking for more complex aromas. Still using as an aperitive obviously, but also to  compliment a fish or accompany a meal. The Cuvée Eloge has a wider profile.

Tell us more about the shape of your bottles
We looked for innovation on the Cuvée Irresistible, modern and elegant at the same time. Regarding the Cuvée Eloge it’s quite the opposite. Keeping a more traditional side with a more reassuring form. We don’t want to be associated with the “Party Rosé” on the Saint-Tropez beaches. We really want to focus on the wine, keeping it classic rather than the design of the bottle. We need to modernise the image of the brand, without losing the values of the vineyard.

I read that Michel Rolland, a great International Oenologist was working for you? How does he help you?
Michel Rolland gives us a guarantee of quality, he’s a great professional of the assembly. He helps us a lot, in particular for our red wines for aging. Mr. Rolland has a real ability to assemble the Cuvées. Each Cuvée belongs to an area and a grape. He’s been working with us since the beginning, he’s a fantastic person.

What is your annual production?
The Domaine de La Croix produces more than 700,000 bottles per year. 85% of our production is Rosé, of which 350,000 are the Cuvée Irresistible.

How do you stand out from the others?
We are the largest classified Domain of Provence with 90 hectares, which is an important advantage. All the wines we produce are from our production, we don’t buy grapes from elsewhere so quality is guaranteed.

What is your international share?
First of all, Mr Bolloré ‘s wish is to preserve national production. We do export but it’s only 30% of our sales. The Domaine de La Croix is present in Europe, the United States, Australia and Africa.

Thank you very much Madame Nublat for your time. We wish you good harvests.
Thank you very much L’ami JAC to be our partner in the UK.

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