Champagne process and vinification
How to create exceptional champagnes?
Experience... creativity... patience...
We really think that a great wine is built in the vineyards and that the wine-maker is an artist who uses creativity to elaborate the most beautiful cuvées. Today, Benoît, Antoine and Quentin play with this complementarity to create the Pierre Paillard champagnes.
The birth of the wine.
Everything starts by choosing the date of the harvest. This is the first vital decision which will influence our wines. Once again, it is a question of balance, the important ratio between sugar and acidity. So each plot is closely monitored and harvested at the best moment. The grapes are handpicked and brought to our press.
Extracting the juice into the vats is carried out by following the traceability of the grape varieties and the plots thanks to many small vats. From this grape juice, the Pierre Paillard champagnes will be born. After a first alcoholic fermentation , the wines are left on their own lees until Spring.
Creating the cuvées
Then starts a long process of tasting and blending. This is a unique moment shared only by the winemakers of the House (Benoît, Antoine and Quentin). Each plot is tasted, marked and commented upon until each one of us has a perfect feel for the profile of the year.
Tests and blind tastings continue until the final choice: The creation of each cuvée. Some
are blends from several plots, some from a single plot (rare enough to be highlighted).
Time and a lot of patience.
Once bottled, our young wines will become champagnes in our 19th century cellars, 16 meters below ground level. They will undergo their second fermentation and age on their own lees for 3 to 10 years, depending on our tastings and our own rule about the natural balance between alcohol and acidity.
Disgorging and dosage
Once the ageing period on the lees is over, our champagnes are naturally balanced. Therefore the dosage is quite low (on average 6 - 7gr of sugar per litre). A few months before despatching, the wines are riddled, disgorged and dosed before resting and recovering one last time in our cellars to get over the shock of disgorging!
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