Day Three

Today we visited three houses. The first house was in Montgueux, the second in Avize and the last in Cramant. Montgueux  is a hill of cretaceous chalk subsoil  found just northwest of Troyes.  It is planted with 90% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Noir with favored south facing slopes.  Avize is a grand cru village in the middle of the Côtes des Blancs region planted with chardonnay.  Cramant is another grand cru village found just north of Avize and is also planted with chardonnay.


Beaugrand, Montgueuxphoto-jun-20-6-29-53-am.jpg

The house is headed by Hélène and Arnaud Beaugrand who are the grandchildren of an early winemaker. Vines were first cultivated in the 12th century and almost disappeared at the end of the 1800s due to the phylloxera. After the First World War the Beaugrand family was the first to replant its hillsides. Malolactic fermentation is allowed and herbicides are not used. Pesticides are not used except in the rarest occasions and then only environmentally friendly ones are chosen. Hélène spent several years as a winemaker in South Africa, Australia, Mexico, New Zealand and the United States. In 2008 she returned to the family estate to take over the wine making. She is one of the “fabulleusesdechampagne,” a group of women Vignerons.

We toured and tasted with Helene.

Cuvées Tasted:       

  • Carte Blanche Non Dose
  • Carte Blanche Brut
  • Réserve Brut
  • Tradition Brut
  • Rosé Brut

Varnier-Fanniere, Avizephoto-jun-20-9-09-35-am.jpg
The house dates back to 1860, when the Fannière family began growing grapes and selling them to the Champagne negociant houses. It was only in 1950 that the family started producing Champagne under their own name. In 1989 Denis Varnier took over the vineyards and made it the house known today.  His champagnes are archetypal examples of grower Champagne. The wines are distinctly individual, precise, and clean. Vinification allows full malolactic fermentations and pressing in an old Coquard press.  Denis, unfortunately, passed away in 2017 and the house is now carried on by his wife Valerie.

We tasted with Isabelle and met Valerie Varnier.

Cuvées Tasted:

  • Brut Zéro Grand Cru
  • Rosé Zéro Grand Cru
  • Brut Grand Cru
  • St-Denis Grand Cru

Diebolt-Vallois, CramantPhoto Jun 20, 11 02 03 AM

The Diebolt family has lived in Cramant since the end of the 19th century, and the Vallois family has been cultivating vines in Cuis since the 15th Century. Jacques Diebolt started working with his grandfather and eventually founded the champagne house of Diebolt-Vallois in 1959 alongside his wife Nadia Vallois. They is helped by their two children, Arnaud and Isabelle, who have taking a major part in the running of the estate. We enjoyed visiting with Jacques and discussing our shared love our champagne. He shared a great thought with us: “Life is very easy with champagne!” We couldn’t agree more!

We Toured and tasted with Jacques and met Isabelle.

Cuvées Tasted:

  • Tradition
  • Brut Rosé
  • Blanc De Blancs
  • Prestige
  • Blanc De Blancs 2010
  • Fleur de Passion 2008

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

Continue the tour with Day Four!