A sensible man, Pierre Larmandier has cultivated his biodynamic vineyard in Côte des Blancs for 20 years. He produces high-range champagnes that are faithful to their terroir.
The most northerly wine-growing region in France. This makes it ideal for developing sparkling wines that require a grape that is not too ripe so that the freshness of the bubbles is preserved.
The climate in Champagne is affected by two influences: oceanic and continental, which explains why the vintages lack evenness and regularity, depending on whether one or the other is in the ascendancy.
Main regions: Montagne de Reims, Côte des Blancs, Vallée de la Marne and Aube, which is detached, some 75 km to the South.
Most of the wines are sparkling, although there are also some still wines, such as Coteaux Champenois and the rare Les Riceys rosés. On average, total production is 320 million bottles.
The subsoil is mainly limestone, which has allowed hundreds of kilometres of galleries to be burrowed out, which are particularly well-suited to storing wine.
1 white grape (chardonnay) and 2 black grapes (pinot noir and pinot meunier) are used in the wines, some of which are blends, others made from a single grape type, usually chardonnay.
They are given a specific vintage when the production quality justifies it, or else the wines are made from 2 or 3 different years, which in turn add their own characteristics.
Champagne is marketed jointly by the major production houses (80% of exports) and individuals producers.
Best recent vintages: 2012 and 2008.