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Billecart-Salmon Champagne – Family Maison founded in 1818

Billecart-Salmon Champagne – Family Maison founded in 1818

Extraordinary vineyards.

The Maison’s champagne is the fruit of the know-how of its men, who take care of a 100-hectare estate. The grapes come from 40 cru in Champagne, planted on a total area of 300 hectares. Most of the grapes for winemaking are grown within a 20-kilometer radius around the commune of Épernay. Grand crus of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier coexist in this territory that stretches between the Montagne de Reims, the Côte des Blancs and the Marne Valley.

The story of a family.

It all began in 1818, when Nicolas François Billecart and Elisabeth Salmon married and founded their champagne Maison. It is the story of a family, because Louis Salmon, Elisabeth ‘s brother and a wine enthusiast, also participates in the production of the wines. And so it is that after seven generations, the whole family still contributes to handing down the tradition, staying true to an unchanging commitment: “Prioritize quality, strive for excellence.”

The Clos Saint-Hilaire.

A unique plot, one hectare of Pinot Noir: promise of excellence.

In this plot, the vines are managed and cared for very carefully, with full respect for the environment. Maison Billecart-Salmon chose to return to traditional methods by reintroducing the draft horse and sheep. Thus the porosity and biodiversity of the soil improve, the roots grow deeper, and the extracted minerals promote the growth of smaller, more concentrated grapes that best express all the distinctiveness of our terroir. An exceptional champagne named after the patron saint of Mareuil-sur-Aÿ was born in the Clos Saint-Hilaire. Made exclusively from Pinot Noir vinified in barrels, it develops a rare complexity and surprising freshness. A limited quantity of bottles is produced for each vintage: between 3500 and 7500, all numbered.

Painstaking work.

In the 1950s, the Maison introduced the cold stripping technique and stainless steel vats for longer low-temperature fermentation. The vat cellar uses mainly small thermoregulated vats (47 hectoliters), which allow the traceability of vines and plots to be observed. This type of winemaking cru by cru and vine by vine allows all the peculiarities of the terroir to be preserved. By vinifying at a low temperature, the fermentation process is slowed down and promotes airy and delicate aromas in which all the purity of the fruit is manifested. The authentic expression of the Billecart-Salmon style.

The silence of the chais.

The Maison’s two chais are occupied by 400 barrels and 24 foudre, respectively. Each barrel was carefully selected and manufactured to enhance the richness and aromatic complexity of the wines. True to its style and know-how, the Maison vinifies at a low temperature to preserve the typical freshness and elegance of its champagnes. To ensure consistent traceability, each plot is vinified individually. Craftsmanship and traditional winemaking techniques are combined with vat winemaking to enhance the elegance of the Billecart style.

Chalk cellars.

The chalk cellars originated in the 17th century and have watched over the Maison’s precious nectar since the 19th century. Over time the wines become more established and more intense. They acquire the finesse, balance and elegance that distinguish the Maison’s champagnes. Non-vintage champagnes reach full maturity after three or four years, or after a period twice as long as the appellation norm. Vintage cuvées, on the other hand, patiently wait for ten years before fully maturing. Letting time do its work-this is the greatness of Billecart-Salmon champagne.

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