Day Three

Today we had 3 scheduled visits and then added one more.  The first house was in the premier cru village of Dizy, in the Valle de la Marne, east of Epernay.  Most vineyards are planted on south facing slopes with all three grape varieties.  The second house was in the grand cru village of Ay also located in the Valle de la Marne, but just north of Epernay.  It is planted with mostly south facing vines of relatively low elevation and is known for powerful Pinot Noir wines.  The last two houses were in the grand cru village of Chouilly located southeast of Epernay in the Cotes Des Blancs with vines having western and southern exposures.  Chouilly is planted with almost 100% Chardonnay.


Jacquesson, Dizy

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The house of was founded in 1798 by Memmie Jacquesson and grew momentously through the Napoleon period and beyond.  After the death of Adolphe Jacquesson in 1875 the house went into a significant decline.  In the late 1970’s Jean Chiquet purchased the company and sons Jean-Herve and Laurent began the revival in 1988.  In a multiple decade effort, the fruit yields were reduced and quality improved.  Traditional farming and several organic techniques are used in the vineyards.  Vinification is carried out in oak foudre with variable malolactic fermentation and modest dosage.  Annual cuvées are blended to highlight the season rather than conform to a house style.  We tasted with Sandrine.

Cuvées Tasted:

  • Cuvée No. 740
  • Cuvée No. 739 DT
  • Terres Rouges / Recolte 2009 – Rosé
  • Corne Bautry / Recolte 2007

Gatinois, Ay

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The house of Gatinois began 12 generations ago in 1696.  In 2010, Louis Cheval began his direction of the house taking over from his able parents Marie and Pierre Cheval. The vines, mostly planted with Pinot Noir and some Chardonnay are cultivated with sustainable practices. The musts are individually vinified in stainless steel using indigenous yeasts for the first fermentation and allowing malolactic fermentation.  Modest dosage is used for these grand cru cuvées from Ay.  We tasted with Louis.

Cuvées Tasted:

  • Brut Tradition
  • Brut Réserve
  • Rosé

Vazart-Coquart & fils, Chouilly

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Jean-Pierre Vazart represents the third generation of champagne vintners.  He farms his varied 30 plot (planted 90% chardonnay and 5% pinot noir) using sustainable methods, ground cover and limited yields.   His vineyards are “HEV” certified.  Vinification is carried out using cultured yeasts, stainless steel tanks and malolactic fermentation.  Unfortunately, we did not meet Jean-Pierre or tour. We tasted with Philippe.

Cuvées Tasted:

  • Cuvée Camille
  • Brut Reserve, “Blanc de Blancs”
  • Brut Rose
  • Grand Bouquet, “Blanc de Blancs Millesime”
  • Cuvée Club, “Blanc de Blancs” 2008
  • Special Foie Gras, “Blanc de Blancs”

Legras & Haas, Chouilly

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Founded in 1991 by Brigitte Haas and Francois Legras, passionate grower and maker, respectively of champagne. The estate of 38 hectares is run as a family affair.  Vinification is by individual plots and malolactic fermentation is carried out. We met Brigitte and Jerome and tasted with Jerome.

Cuvées Tasted:

  • Blanc de Blancs
  • Cuvée Tradition
  • Cuvée Rosé

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

Continue the tour with Day Four!