Grower Website Denis Chaput Region: France - Champagne

In the mid-twelfth century, a Templar base was established in Arrentières. In 1312, under pressure from the King of France (Philip IV, known as Philip the Fair), Pope Clement V dissolved the Order of the Knights Templar. As a result, an inventory of their property and possessions was drawn up. This states that the Templars owned vines in Arrentières which “produce 35 muids in a good year” (a muid is a large barrel).   Since that time, wine has always been produced… subject of course to the various conflicts and turmoil that inevitably occur in the course of history.

The first winegrower to bear the name Chaput moved to Arrentières in 1862. By 1878, he had his own wine press. The first Chaput champagne, “Cuvée des Rochottes”, was produced in the early 1930s. It is a tradition that continues today. The vineyards consist of 26 individual plots located just next door to the winery. The hillsides face South-East to West, with the steepness of the slopes ranging from 5 to 20%. The soil varies in its proportion of pebbles, its depth, and its richness in clay with each plot showcasing its own individual character producing correspondingly different wines.

Today, the Chaput brothers Nicolas and Xavier, along with their father Denis and mother Jacquline, have preserved the Templar legacy by renovating the last vestiges of a Templar commandery established there between the 12th and 14th centuries. To experience their Champagnes in their tasting cellar and tower is truly to walk through history.

Country France
Region Champagne
Appellation(s) Côte des Bar
Proprietors Xavier and Nicolas Chaput
Founded 1930
Winemaker Nicolas Chaput
Annual Production 1800 9L cases
Farming (Sustainable, organic, biodynamic) Sustainable – Terra Vitus certified

VINEYARDS

The vineyards consist of 26 individual plots located just next door to the winery. The hillsides face South-East to West, with the steepness of the slopes ranging from 5 to 20%. The soil varies in its proportion of pebbles, its depth, and its richness in clay with each plot showcasing its own individual character producing correspondingly different wines.

Chaput practices Cordon de Royat and Chablis style pruning, which results in a better distribution of sap in the buds. The removal of non-fruiting buds reduces superfluous vegetation. Careful trellising and early thinning of the leaves around the bunches enables the grapes to breathe.   A constant presence among the vines and patient observation of their progress allows Chaput to keep their use of treatments against pests and diseases to a minimum. These growing methods are beneficial in terms of quality, the environment and the well-being of our planet. The result is a significant reduction in yields and increased risks of frost damage in the spring. Chaput has recently made their dedication to the environment “official” by obtaining TERRA VITIS approval (www.terravitis.com).

WINERY

Grapes are slowly ripened to reach optimal maturity on limestone soils resulting in a more crystalline texture on the palate, while marly soil (with a combination of limestone and clay) will give the wine breadth.  The grapes are gently pressed. Each vintage is different, each plot is unique. Each plot is harvest, aged and vinified separately at its own pace. To minimize the impact on the environment, the cellar and winery are half-underground, enabling their temperature to be regulated by a geothermal system. The transfers of wines between vats, which are costly in terms of energy and stressful for the wine, are also minimized.

When it comes to the blending stage, there is a wide range of wines that, once blended, will complement and enhance each other.   To gain further depth and character, our cuvées of champagne are aged in the cellar for 4 to 10 years in the bottle.

Wine Blend Vine Age Soil Type Vineyard Area ha or acres
Total Area 29.7 acres / 12 ha
Mésogée 75 % Pinot Noir / 25 % Chardonnay Average age : 27 years in 2013 Kimmeridgian clay-chalk
Promesse de l’Aube – Blanc de Blancs 100 % Chardonnay Average age : 23 years in 2013 Kimmeridgian clay-chalk
Noir de Jade – Blanc de Noirs 100 % Pinot Noir Average age : 21 years in 2011 Kimmeridgian clay-chalk
L’Ombre d’Armand – cuvée Réserve 75 % Pinot Noir / 25 % Chardonnay Average age : 24 years in 2008 Kimmeridgian clay-chalk
Carmin – Rosé 100 % Pinot Noir Average age : 25 years in 2010 Kimmeridgian clay-chalk