Day One

Today we visited 3 houses, 2 in Vrigny and 1 in Ambonnay.  Vrigny is a “Premier Cru” village located southwest of Reims between the Vesle and Ardre rivers.  This area (Val de Reims), known as the “Tardenois,” is planted with 59% Pinot Meunier, 28% Pinot Noir and 13% Chardonnay in soils of sand, clay, and marl. Ambonnay is a “Grand Cru” village northwest of Epernay in the montagne de Reims. It is planted with 56% Pinot Noir, 29% Chardonnay and 15% Pinot Meunier. The soils are mostly marl and chalk.

Roger Coulon, Vrigny:

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Owned and operated by Eric and Isabelle Coulon, eighth generation vignerons, the concepts of lower alcohol, lower pressure and modest dosage guide the vinification.  Natural yeasts are allowed and controlled during the first fermentation. The vineyards are cultivated with respect to the environment using several aspects of organic farming and biodiversity.

We toured the facility guided by Alex, an intern with a good working knowledge of champagne and the Coulon house in particular.

Cuvées Tasted:

  • Brut Réserve De L’Hommée
  • Brut Millésime 2009 Blanc de Noirs
  • Brut Rosélie

Lelarge-Pugeot, Vrigny:

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Now with eight generations of vignerons, Dominique Lelarge took over the family-estate alongside his wife, Dominique Pugeot, the winery then became: CHAMPAGNE LELARGE-PUGEOT.  Their vineyards are certified “Organic.” We toured the facility with Dominique (Wife) and also met with Dominique (Husband).

Cuvées Tasted:

  • Brut Tradition
  • Les Charmes de Vrigny
  • Les Meuniers de Clemence
  • Brut Rosé
  • Rose de Saignee
  • Blanc de Blancs

Paul Déthune, Ambonnay

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The Déthune family of vintners dates back to 1610. Currently, Pierre and Sophie Déthune respect their land and cultural heritage using “sustainable development” and “biodiversity” and received the “HVE” certification.  Wines are aged in oak and undergo malolactic fermentation.  We toured the facility with Sophie.

Cuvées Tasted:

  • Cuvée Brut Grand Cru
  • Cuvée Extra-Brut Grand Cru
  • Cuvée Blanc de Noirs Grand Cru
  • Cuvée Prestige Grand Cru

Visit What’s Open to learn more about these cuvées.

Continue the tour with Day Two!