Thursday, 25 June 2009

Edmond Barnaut

Philippe Secondé is the current descendant of Edmond Barnaut and is of the 5th generation of Champagne makers. After earning a degree in enology, he took over the family firm in 1985 and went on to significantly increase the House’s vineyards, modernize its cellar, expand production, and move its viticulture footing to the quasi-organic lutte raisonnée structure (ploughing between rows, using only organic composts, and minimalist fungicide applications). The cellar is situated approximately 28 metres under his premises.

Accessed by a lift his cellar is dug out of chalky rock and provides the perfect environment for cellarage. This is very important as his Champagne is aged in the bottle between 2 to 8 years. Today Champagne Barnaut farms 30 acres in the Grand Cru vineyards of Bouzy and 13 acres in the Marne Valley.

With its sister village of Ambonnay, Bouzy lays claim to having the finest vineyard sites for Pinot Noir in the appellation of Champagne. Its 833 acres of vines grow up the rolling foothills of the Montagne de Reims and face due south, ensuring the best possibility for ripening every year. The result is Champagne’s richest and fullest-bodied wines.

Edmond Barnaut was one of the first pioneers in Champagne to create his own brand outside of the controlling centres of Epernay and Reims. In 1874 he set up shop in Bouzy, where he owned vines and where he married Appoline Godmé-Barancourt, heiress to additional vineyards in the village. The first cuvée made of two-thirds Pinot Noir and one-third Chardonnay was launched. And it’s still made today, under the Grande Réserve label, with its reserve wine coming from a solera system begun by Edmond himself and maintained through five generations of Barnaut descendants.


Anonymous said...

Just made our third trip to Edmond Barnaut's small outlet in the heart of Bouzy and stocked up with a selection of their luscious champagne. Good blog - information on origins and background is scarce in the outlet...

Sue said...

Thanks for your kind comment :-)