A 5th generation producer from Villers Marmery creating rich, structured and complex wines using mostly Chardonnay. They have been a member of the Club Tresors de Champagne since 1976 and produce their finest cuvée for this very club.
Working with both HVE and VD (Viticulture Durable) and Terra Vitis you really get the sense that David is at one with the soil. And when you first meet him, you instantly know that he is. Based in Cuchery, his wines have a beautiful harmony and amazing energy that you can't help but get engaged with.
Adrien RenoirAdrien has, over the last few years, been slowly taking over the estate of his father Vincent. They work with 6 hectares mostly in Verzy and create a range of beautiful wines, including a series of lieu dit, brought in by Adrien in the last few years. This approach on single vineyard, single varietal, has completely changed the philosophy at the Renoir press room. Adrien has implemented organic processes and is moving towards biodynamic production.
Based in the village of Cuisles and working mainly with Meunier, Alexandre and Fanny are the 4th generation and are taking the Maison into the 21st century, with a focus on biodynamics. Their wines are a beautifully fresh and vibrant style of Meunier with an excellent cut of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. There is grace and beauty to all of their wines but there is something truly unique and special about Histoires, a Meunier and Pinot Noir blend, always pure vintage with a palate and length like nothing you’ve tasted before.
Antoine BouvetThe maison was founded by Antoine's father Guy Bouvet in 1970. Antoine was handed the estate at the tender age of 17. Most of the 5 hectares is sold to Bollinger, but Antoine works with 1 hectare creating beautifully crafted wines from Mareuil sur Ay, Avenay val d'Or and Bisseuil. He works solely with oak and uses biodynamic practices throughout. His wines play with oxidation creating this sharp, vinous appeal and mineral freshness.
Aurelie and Loic set out back in 2010 to create a beautifully expressive wine from the far southern reaches of the region of Champagne. The village of Villenauxe la Grande sits at the very southern reaches of the cote de Sezanne and holds mostly Chardonnay. They are now fully organic and create amazingly tense, complex and pure wines.
BeaugrandBased in the beautiful village of Montgueux, the most southerly outcrop of chalk in the Champagne region, Helene creates a fabulous range of Champagnes from wonderfully mature vines, (50 years old). The family were the first to plant in the area after the first world war. The village creates a unique style in Chardonnay; complex, spicy with a wonderful chalky note.
Formed in 1980 by Chantal Delespierre and Didier Bertrand it is now run by their children; Clemence and Adrien. We totally fell in love with their wines when we visited in 2017 and have returned every year since. They work with 10 hectares in Chamery, Ecueil, Villedommange and Montre creating distinctive wines with impeccable structure and finesse.
The house was founded in 1932 and is now run by the fourth generation, Jean-Etienne and Jean-Emmanuel, who work with a large chunk of vineyards mainly in the brilliant village of Cramant. They also have vines in Chouilly, Oiry, Bergeres les Vertus and Cuis. They are HVE certified and use malolactic throughout their wines and some oak in Cuvée Variance. Their wines show a wonderful creamy side to the village; round, opulent and moreish with a nicely poised zesty edge.
Started by Georges Brocard in 1932, the maison is now run by the vibrant Thibaud who has completely modernised both the exterior and, importantly, the interior of the bottle! He works with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from Celles sur Ource, creating tense, vibrant and exotic wines.
We totally fell in love with this producer when we first visited nearly 10 years ago. Based in Damery, with vines in 57 plots in 7 villages, predominantly Meunier, their wines show a crisp style and age like legends. They acquired the HEV certificate recently and there is a real honesty to their winemaking and wines.
Caze ThibautA producer we fell in love with when we first tried their wines a few years ago, and, a producer that perfectly captures what Sip is all about; brilliant wines, tiny production, and a lovely human being. Fabien is the 10th generation winemaker in the family. Working with vines in Chatillon sur Marne, he creates precise and elegant wines with a lovely structure.
Alexis is the 6th generation of Champagne Xavier Leconte but has chosen to create a stunning side brand, Champagne Alexis. The wines jumped out at us for their complexity, texture and depth. He works mainly with Meunier from Troissy, Dormans, Mareuil-le-Port, Vandières and, importantly, some epic Pinot Noir in Ay – where he creates his stunning cuvée: Aegius.
Run by Jerome Dehours, this brilliant maison works with 42 plots in Mareuil le Port, Oeuilly and Troissy. He holds a HVE3 Certificate, the highest level possible. He works with a majority of Meunier creating fabulously rich, structured wines with brilliant tension and spirit.
Legends of Meunier. We came across these guys many years ago and instantly fell for their exotic, complex wines. Founded in 1936 and based in Fleury la Riviere, Audrey and Jerome work with a majority of Meunier creating wines that last a lifetime. And then some. Our experience of their legendary ageing ability has seen flawless bottles of wines as far back as the 1950s. Staggering!
Didier HerbertA wonderful discovery on one of our many trips having found a bottle in one of the go to shops in Reims, Cave du Forum. A quick email to the team at Didier Herbert and we were sitting in front of a spectacular vertical of Les Coutures going back to the 1960s. Working with 30 parcels in 5 villages including Rilly la Montagne, Ludes, Verzenay and Mailly, Didier creates wines with incredible structure, complexity and an engaging character.
Domaine VinceyThe Vincey family have been winemakers for 8 generations but it wasn't until Quentin joined in 2009 that production took the form that it is today. They work with 7 hectares in Oger, Mesnil and Chouilly and, since Quentin's joining have removed any pesticides or herbicides. The modern production of wines see 12 months of oak vinification and only vintage wines made. They have been working with the biodynamic principles for over three years. An exquisite winemaker who creates a wonderful fullness of fruit and layered complexity in their wines. Truly one to investigate as their wines will soon become the stuff of legend...
Domaine des TuileriesBryan took charge of his family Maison, Marx-Coutelas & Fils in 2017. A few years down the line, he selected 1.5 hectares from their 7 hectare holdings in Venteuil to start his own side project, with a view to creating a completely different style of cuvée. The result is Domaine des Tuileries. Each wine is oak vinified and represent distinct profiles from the estate with a particular focus on the beauty that can be brought by individual barrels. For a first release, they are staggering!
We first came across this Champagne many years ago. They are based in Avirey-Lingey and work with 2.15 hectares of vines in the village and also buy in a further 3 hectares. Using sustainable techniques in the vineyards and 228 litre barrels in the winery, Davy Dosnon creates rich, aromatic wines with fabulous finesse. Their Recolte Noire is a fantastic introduction to Aube Pinot Noir but if you want something special grab a bottle of Alliae!
Emilien AlloucheryA brand new producer to the scene. The family estate reaches back four generations and sits in the heart of the petite Montagne de Reims with vineyards in Ecueil and Villedommange. He works with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and focuses on creating vintage specific expressions and vinifies in oak and sandstone amphora. These are unique and beautifully expressive wines that are both academically fascinating and hedonistically gorgeous.
Geoffrey Delouvin is a 10th generation winemaker working with 7.5 hectares solely in Vandieres. He creates two distinct lines of wines: Delouvin-Nowack and Famille Delouvin. Having tasted the range we instantly fell in love with the latter. Rich and engaging with ample complexity and depth, these wines work heavily with their amazing solera, creating an unbelievable level of texture and persistence.
Gaspard BrochetGaspard Brochet has exploded onto the scene in Champagne with his first wine released only last year! And a stunning wine it was... Gaspard comes from a long line of Brochet families in the area and has taken over the family business that is "Vincent Brochet". A renowned producer in the area. Along with the existing line of wines, Gaspard went about producing something unique, something that defines him. His only wines to date encompass a Chardonnay, Blend and the pure Pinot Noir from the vineyard of Le Mont Benoit. Vinified in oak it is a triumph of a first attempt. We cannot wait for what else he will bring!
We visited Georges before he had even released a Champagne! Having seen a bottle of Bouzy Rouge, (red wine from the village of Bouzy), we found our way to his house and were introduced to a fabulous selection of cuvées. He works mainly with Pinot Noir in Bouzy, Tauxieres and creates a stunning rosé!
Both the Goutorbe and Bouillot family have a history of winemaking dating back to the early 18th century but they came together in the 1930s when Pierrette Bouillot and Jules Goutorbe married. The house is now managed by Dominique and Bastien and they look after 8 hectares, under both HVE and VD in the village of Damery. The wines show a lovely play of freshness alongside a brilliant touch of maturity.
GueninA family of winemakers with a history that can be traced back to the 1600s, Guenin are based in village of Essoyes, in the heart of the Côte des Bar. Today the Maison is operated by 11th generation vigneron, Sebastien Guenin, who created his first cuvee in 2015 after a wine education that saw him gain experience across France.
This fantastic maison is based in the village of Villers Marmery in the Montagne de Reims. Originally formed by Gaston Henriet in 1890 in Verzenay, it acquired the vineyards of Villers Marmery through marriage in the 60s. They now work with over 7 hectares in Verzenay, Villers-Marmery and Verzy with some holdings in Faverolles and Coemy. It is now run by Marie-Noelle who has recently acquired the HVE, (High Environmental Value), status on her vines and it is clear that, although not labelled organic, she is focused on doing the best for her wines. Their wines sing of the fruit of Villers-Marmery. Crisp, clean and fruity with a brilliant tension and length.
Marie-Amélie 2012 is a brilliant cuvée made from three old plots in Villers-Marmery. 100% Chardonnay, 0g/ltr. Wet chalk, white flowers with a brilliant chalky attack on the front end. Loads of lemon rind and notes of pear drops. Amazing length on the fruit driven finish.
J.L. VergnonFounded in 1950 by Jean-Louis Vergnon, the family own 7ha predominantly in the Grand Cru village of Le-Mesnil-sur-Oger, with some additional plots in Oger, Avize, Vertus and Villeneuve. They are HVE certified and vinify in steel and oak, with no malolactic fermentation. The range of wines they create are archetypal Côte des Blancs Chardonnay – clean, crisp, chalky with wonderful structure and balance of fruit.
One of the very few producers in the village of Montgueux and for us, one of the very best. He works with 7.7 hectares of mostly Chardonnay creating a playful style of wine that flirts with oxidation. Their wines charm from the outset and their Lumiere et Craie is a fascinating wine made from reserve wines, (does not have a "base year"). Creamy, layered and complex.
Jules BrochetPierric comes from a family of winegrowers. He was able to start the brand, named after his great grandfather (who is also Gaspard's great Grandfather!), when he took over his family vineyards and purchased a few others. He works with 4.5ha of plots in Taissy, Mailly Champagne, Ay, Rilly la Montagne and Barzy sur Marne, although only 1.5ha are used for his wines. He started organic conversion in 2020.
Started in 1889 by Jean-Baptiste Laherte, Aurelien (the 7th generation) now looks after 11 hectares mostly in Chavot just south of Epernay. They work heavily with oak (over 80% of production) creating wonderfully aromatic, rich and unique wines that demand time in your glass!
The Bénard-Pitois family started cultivating land in Mareuil sur Ay in the latter end of the 19th century, but their wines really took off in the late 1990s when they forged the road forward for organic certification. They obtained full organic certification in 2012 on their 2.5 hectares in Mareuil sur Ay and Avenay val d'Or. We first visited Michelle in 2016 and fell in love with their wonderfully expressive wines. So exotic, energetic and engaging. They really sweep you up and grab you!
Leclere-MinardFollowing apprenticeships with both David Léclapart and Maison Tarlant, Clément Minard began creating his own wines at the co-operative outside Vrigny where he leases space. Working his historic family plots of 2.3ha he uses organic principles and vinifies his plots separately in oak barrels using indigenous yeasts.
Legras & Haas
One of the absolute gems of the village of Chouilly. Established in 1991 and run by the three brothers; Remi, Olivier and Jerome Legras they work with 18 hectares in Chouilly alone and have holdings in Vitry, Les Riceys and Ay. Their range is all fantastic but is all fantastic with their wines ageing gracefully into their 3rd decade but they are also pushing the boundaries with some fantastic single vineyard wines and a brilliant Chardonnay/Pinot Noir blend from Chouilly and Ay, with wines made from a blend of over 10 vintages.
The wines of the legendary producer are some of the longest lived in the region. The style, stern, hard and chalky with an abundance of floral notes in their youth. As they age they acquire a wonderful richness but that chalky memory still remains in the wine. They are one of the best kept secrets of the region.
The Brochet name bounds around the region of Champagne and beyond. But not this one. Until now. Having tasted several hundred wines during an exhausting trip to Champagne, we came across this magic producer and the wine jumped out of the glass at us. Based in the village of Ecueil in the north west of the region, they produce masterfully juicy, rich wines from their ample 13 hectare holdings. They hold both VD and HVE and you sense that honesty, thought and precision in their wines.
The Grumier family history dates back to 1743, when they first started working their vineyard in Venteuil. It is now run by Fabien, who works with 39 plots in 8.5 hectares in the village of Venteuil and the surrounding villages of Reuil, Dormans, Nesle le Repons and Festigny. He creates a crisp, linear style of wine throughout his range but it is when the wines are allowed to age that they really come into their own!
A wonderfully exciting new producer from the village of Beaunay, South of the Côte des Blancs. The Domaine was founded in the 1920s by Leon and Gabrielle Aubert. They started by working the vines and their children ended up developing the winery. The first press was put in by their child Pascal in the 1990s. Maxime came on board in 2012 and started to make his own wines in 2015 after the construction of their first cellar.Even though we are only experiencing his first ever wine with the Les Gras d’Huile, you really get a sense that Maxime is onto something great here.
Oudiette et FillesHaving brought on Maxime Oudiette in 2021, we subsequently heard about another 'Oudiette' brand making waves in the Petit Moran. Margot and Charlotte are cousins of Maxime and, in 2014, joined their mother, Florence, in managing their 2.5ha holdings in Beaunay and Celle les Condes. They began vinifiying their first bottles in 2017 and four years later, their first cuvee, Uni Terre, was born.
Based in Bouzy and made from the same family that brought you Champagne Bonnaire. They work with vineyards both in Bouzy and some of the staple within the Bonnaire range: Cramant, Bergeres les Vertus, Cuis and Fossoy. The wines show a harmonious and fruity side to the village; bright with a lovely sugar balance throughout. The Prestige, a wine made from the vineyard of Les Hauts Chemins is a real stunner.
We first met Alexandre some time ago. He works with 6 hectares in Verzy and Verzenay. With over 400 years of family history in winemaking they work with several fabulous plots to create rich, penetrating wines with so much going on you have to come up for air!!
Pernet et PernetKurt works with 9ha in Vertus, Ambonnay and Bouzy creating a very clean, crisp style. He started with a few organic parcels in 2014, of which we had the fortune of trying just this year. They are, on opening, strict but with air becoming joyful, generous and complex. We are super excited to see where this new Maison takes itself in the coming years.
Perrine FresneBased in the village of Sermiers, in the south of the Petite Montagne de Reims, Perrine is one of the very few independent winemakers in a village dominated by a co-operative. Sarmate is her debut cuvée and really shows her potential. We're excited to see where her wines are heading!
We love this house. The wines caught us from the very first time that we tried them. They have such a playful way with which they flirt with oxygen that creates this gorgeous, rich and textured palate. Added to this, Isabelle and Benoiste, the proprietors of these amazing wines, are two of the most lovely people we have ever met!
These guys have been knocking it out of the park over the last few years. The house dates back to the early 20th Century but has been given a new lease of life with the introduction of Clemente and Antoine in the last decade or so. They work with 44 plots in Cramant, Mesnil, Chouilly, Oiry and Oger, but have key plots in the fabulous single vineyards of Chetillons and Mont Aigu among others. They produce wines that are beautifully honest to the terroir and we can't wait to see what the next few years brings for them.
Another producer found in the depths of the brilliant village of Avize. Maxime and his father Thierry, the 6th and 7th generation, create wonderfully rich and expressive wines from their 7 hectares holdings in the village of Avize and surrounding towns of Cramant, Chouilly and Grauves. They are fortunate to own one of the few "Clos" in Champagne, (although strictly speaking it is no longer a true Clos) and create one of our "go to" standard drinking Blanc de Blancs!
Pierre DevilleAlban is a fourth generation winemaker located in Verzy. He works with 4ha in Verzy and 1 hectare in Essoyes. When he returned to the Maison in 2016 he started working organically. He vinifies in steel and oak.
Based in the village of Chouilly this fanastic maison run by Marcelline and Vincent create brilliant, crisp wines which are the perfect representation of the village. 11 generations of winemakers, the house in it's current status, was formed in 2002 and they work with over 10 hectares, mostly Chardonnay.
Remy Lequeux-MercierRemy has taken over his family maison and injected a new and vibrant lease of life to these already lovely wines. Based in the village of Passy-sur-Marne he now makes two distinct styles. His Non Vintage cuvée, which is a playful and fruity wine that flirts nicely with oxidation and his single variety wines, which are oak vinified, serious and deep. They are all gorgeous with a sensational level of fruit and texture.
We first visited Richard back in 2015 and were completely blown away by his Melle Jeanne, (at the time the 2012 vintage). He works with 13 hectares in and around Balnot sur Laignes. He works with oak and likes to partially block malolactic to create bright, exotic wines.
Rousseaux BatteuxAdrien is a 4th generation winemaker based in Verzenay and has been managing the estate since 2012. He works with 2.6ha and does not use herbicides or insecticides. He vinifies each parcel separately to create powerful, expressive and ageworthy wines.
We visited Remi a few years ago in Meurville and totally fell for his juicy, rich, characterful wines. They exude generosity and it was clear that his skill both in the vineyards and the winery were going to bring something special. Years later and it is clear that he has done exactly that. He works with 8.5 hectares of mainly Pinot Noir and the wines rock.
Simon RionSimon has taken over the family maison which dates back four generations. It is situated in the village of Courmas and holds 2.15 hectares, mostly in Meunier but with some holdings in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The vines are, on average, 25 years old and the use of Herbicides and pesticides were stopped in 2017. The main body of cuvées represent blends that match the house profile but, in addition, Simon has created three separate mono-varietal wines, called 'Larmes', that mark as a distinct turn in the road for the Maison and take him into the big leagues in small Champagne production!
Thierry FournierThe Maison was founded by 4th generation vigneron, Thierry Fournier, in 1983 but it has realised a new form by the introduction of his sons Julien and Maxime. They work with 45 plots from 11 villages, giving them a wonderfully diverse palate of grapes to create a fruity, rich and complex series of wines.
Thomas PersevalWe first met Thomas many moons ago, when our French and his English, made any form of communication somewhat difficult. Thankfully his wines speak for themselves. Thomas works with 2.5 hectares in Chamery broken up into 6 parcels mainly in Pinot Noir, Meunier and Chardonnay but with some Petit Meslier, Arbanne and Pinot Blanc. He started organic methods in 2012 and creates wonderfully complex, rich and engaging wines that have drawn us back to him time and time again. In the meantime, our French has barely improved, his English is near perfect and the wines? Just better and better!
Tom GauditiaboisBased in the village of Chezy Sur Marne, in the very West of the Marne Valley, we had the fortune of sitting down with Tom nearer the heartlands of Champagne, in his production facility in Epernay. Each new wine he creates is a part of his exploration of the soil and grapes and what they will bring. They represent a beautiful and specific snapshot of a vintage, a plot and an interpretation.
Another producer that we came across on one of our many visits. They work with a number of cuvées and we adore the exotic, aromatic style that they create. The Blanc de Noirs is one of our go to Blanc de Noirs and the Anna T is a rich, Chardonnay driven wine using spontaneous yeast in barrels.
Where do we start!? Vincent is a truly unique winemaker nestled just west of Epernay. Fully biodynamic from 2013, (Demeter), creating a myriad of peculiarities every year. In excess of 15 different cuvées every year, all tiny plots, some no more than a few hundred bottles. It is easy to get lost in his wines and we almost demand that you do. Exquisite, rich, complex and true to the very man that he is. They will take you away to a better place...