Vertus, the village in Champagne’s famous Côte des Blancs, has been the home of the Mailliard family since 1894 where they have been making champagne for four generations.
Today, the third and fourth generations, father and son Michel and Gregory, take care of the 23-hectare (55 acre) family vineyard. Half of the vineyard plots are in Vertus and the surrounding area and are mostly planted to Chardonnay.
In addition to being a vigneron and Champagne maker, Michel Mailliard is an innovator, entrepreneur, and leader with a touch of politician. Among the champagne producers of Vertus, he is a very prominent figure. Decades ago, Michel saw many of his neighbors with small vineyard plots of very good quality grapes in need of a better place to produce their champagnes. So, he created one of the first “custom crush facilities” in champagne. These types of facilities are now commonplace in many wine regions around the world, helping artisan producers and garagists. Over time, the small start-up grew to house the current state-of-the-art champagne producing equipment and temperature-controlled storage facilities. Each vigneron controls the production of their respective champagne separately from the other producers. This facility has allowed even the smallest producers to make their own style of champagne.
The objective of Champagne Michel Mailliard is to make champagnes that reflect the terroir and house style. Gregory manages the vineyards and the harvest. He stands side-by-side with his father learning the craft of champagne making – the Mailliard way. The two have total control of their champagnes made at the custom crush facility. Michel owns the winery and all of the fruit he uses is estate fruit. All the equipment he uses is used only for the production of Michel Mailliard. However, because there are others making wine at his facility, he must label his wines RC, Récoltant-Coopérateur (wine purchased back from the group facility).
|Côte des Blancs
|Michel & Gregory Mailliard (father & son)
|3,000 9L cases
|Farming (Sustainable, organic, biodynamic)
Champagne Michel Mailliard offers six different cuvees. The house style is reflected in Cuvée Gregory Brut and their flagship Mont Vergon Vintage Brut Champagne.
Michel uses only first press juice to make his base wines. He blocks malolactic fermentation to maintain purity, minerality and precision in his champagnes.
The vineyard of Champagne Michel Mailliard is located in the heart of the Côte des Blancs. Located in Marne, a wine area that stretches over some 20 km to the south, south-east from Epernay. The area is named after the color of Chardonnay, the grape planted on 95% of the soil. The Champagnes made with Chardonnay are called Blanc de Blancs.
The Côte des Blancs gives way to some of the best champagnes, this is largely due to its soil, as it lays on a chalk outcrop, unlike other parts of the vineyard where the chalk is more deeply buried.
It is to the convergence of this unique terroir and the expertise of the Mailliard family that we owe the characteristic minerality of these Champagnes.
|Vineyard Area ha or acres
|Total = 55 ha
|Cuvée Gregory Brut
|Chardonnay (95%), Pinot Noir (5%)
|Calcareous & chalk
|55 ha/135 acres
|Mont Vergon Vintage Brut
|Calcareous & chalk
|55 ha/125 acres