Gaëlle and Xavier cultivate the three main grape varieties : Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir, on eight crus (vineyards of origin), situated in the various terroirs of the Champagne region :
La Côte des Blancs, with its Cramant, Cuis, and Oiry crus Le Sézannais with its Barbonne Fayel and Saudoy crus La Vallée de la Marne with its Mareuil-le-Portand Troissy crus
Les Coteaux du Petit Morin with its Bergèressous-Montmirail cruSelecting the best-suited grape varieties is decided according to the specific nature of each terroir, the vineyards having been passed down in this way from one generation to another. So, Chardonnay reveals its finesse on the chalky soils of the Côte des Blancs and likes to keep us waiting. The Chardonnay from the sandy soils of the Sézannais, with its fruitier overtones, reveals itself more swiftly. The clay-limestone terroir ofthe Petit Morin slopes is well-suited to Pinot Meunier ; this variety offers mellow, fruity, round qualities. The Vallée de la Marne, a more heterogeneous terroir, allows the Pinot Meunierand Pinot Noir to express themselves. The latter, although grown in proportionally smaller quantities on our estate, gives the wine both body and power.
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The vineyards are on average 30 years old, have consistently been cultivated with respect, and bear fine grapes. When the vines are passed down, not only the property is bequeathed, but the entire plot’s identity and its interaction with the environment. More than anyone else, the wine grower is well-versed in the growing techniques favourable to each plot. Like a good number of winegrowers, Gaëlle and Xavier employ integrated viticulture practices, where no intervention is considered systematic. The use of phytosanitary products, when necessary, is carefully considered before application.
- Terroir is wine’s intrinsic foundation, its birthplace. Each cru, each plot and even each rock vein will produce a different wine. Environmental factors have considerable influence over the viticultural practices, and understanding each vineyard plot allows for the development of parcel selection.
- The year, or vintage, is to the wine what fingerprints are to man : each tasting facilitates memory recall, as the year’s climatological factors are recollected
- In the end, the winegrower, the vines’craftsman, merely reveals the terroir. Despite viticultural and oenological advances, their role is to accompany the terroir through its annual cycle. It is their duty to understand their vines and adapt the viticultural practices accordingly. The extent of pruning depends on the vigour of the individual vine stock, and careful trellissing creates an aerated canopy and well-managed harvest, a guarantee of quality.
The quality of the work in the vineyard is fundamental, and each gesture, regardless how repetitive, ensures beautiful balance is achieved at harvest, minimizing the amount of intervention in the cellar; a fine wine begins with fine grapes.