Farming since 1995
« Under their very big hats, our beautiful washerwomen are so proud in our hills, so light to work that their dazzling songs in the middle of lavender make bands of charming choirs and the echo of the songs»-Provencal Poem-
A family story
The history between lavender and the Demol family goes back a century.
Five generations of growers, from lavender to olive trees, including various species, including know-how has been passed down from father to son to Thibaut Demol and his partner Aurélie, custodians brand contemporaries « Domaine Demol ».
Valensole, in the 1930s, was more Jean de Florette than the “glorious thirty”. Men and women have always cultivated the land. Hot and arid lands on a dry clay-limestone soil where wild lavender flourishes. At the origin of time, Valensole is associated with almonds and wheat.
It was Philippe, 4th of the family, who extended the estate during his career devoted to lavandin, developing the Grosso and Sumian species from 1980 to 2018 and setting up the farm at Domaine du Grand Saint Jean.
Recently retired, he continues to walk the fields and paths. Thibaut, son of Philippe, new actor of this epic since 2002, always works in family and in team. In 2008, he extended the activity of the nursery, hitherto intended for self-consumption. The sale of young shoots has so developed.In 2013, in collaboration with his father Philippe, he created the distillery.
His passion for lavandin led him to integrate all the services of the cuttings production chain, from the mother plant to the nursery, to distillation and the finished product, distilled, put in bottle.The Demol company also offers services to colleagues or owners non-operators.
The activity has been widely diversified over the 400 hectares exploited: wheat, clary sage, officinal sage, thyme, rosemary, hyssop, oregano, immortelle...
Beginning of the adventure
The adventure begins with Marius Demol who harvests wild mountain lavender called “common lavender” to later grow lavandin on 12 to 15 hectares of land. Lavandin is a hybridization of two varieties of lavender: officinale and Aspic, first obtained by insects foragers and by man.Botanists recognize 48 different species of lavender.
Martial second of the line will develop the culture. The winter of 1956 was the harshest in history. The frost recording a record at -25°C hit the crops. The Demol family then operates a first diversification by introducing in particular olive trees in the production.
Maurice his son will continue the work of cultivation and experience, in the 70s, a form of industrial revolution since the activity is mechanized. The fields see the appearance of hoes, planters, cutters.... Lavender, hitherto planted squarely, is now grown in large parallel rows. The family then operates 60 hectares and launches a commercial nursery activity, until then intended solely for self-consumption.
Sale of our products
At the same time, product sales channels are changing. Previously intended for cooperatives, the products are also sold directly to wholesalers and the finished products are now offered on the website of the Domaine Demol.
In 2017, in the center of Valensole, Thibaut Demol opened a delicatessen “La Maison de Marius” managed by his sister Melanie.The future continues to unfold.
Since 2017, nearly 3,000 olive trees have been planted. A window on the future opens on the vineyard with 25 hectares recently introduced.
Distilled products are finding new markets: cosmetics, wellness, household products... Lavender is attracting more and more tourists. Gites will soon see the light of day. We are also considering increasing the event activity. What bride hasn't dreamed of being photographed in white in a field of lavender?
Organic culture, accompanied by HVE certification, has taken a prominent place in the life of the company, further reinforcing the demand for quality work well done.
Domaine Demol is a real large-scale artisanal activity with the concern for work well done for five generations.
"And it's not about to stop with the latest generation, my three boys, including the eldest Marius... like his grandfather!" se réjouit Thibaut Demol.Family tradition and love of working the land are perpetuated in each lineage.