Experienced winemaker André Beaufort considers Pinot Noir the ultimate Champagne grape. It represents more than two thirds of their vineyard planting, the rest being taken up by Chardonnay. This is why their Champagnes are qualified as powerful, contributed by the body Pinot Noir offers to the blend, but also include the aromas typical of Chardonnay.
In 1969, the Beaufort family started looking in the use of synthetic chemicals, which were at the time commonly used throughout Champagne, but seemed to cause some allergic reactions. They went to seek out other treatments for the vines, while focusing on their health. As pioneers of methods to work with nature rather than against it, they experienced many unexpected difficulties. The regulations did not allow them to just stop using chemicals, and paradoxically they had to pay to not pollute. It was only in 1994 that they received official recognition of their status into organic conversion.
The chemical fertilizers have been replaced with vegetable compost made on the farm and supplemented with butcher's bone powder. This compost, spread over the entire surface of the soil, maintains the quantity of humus necessary for life and constitutes a layer that maintains humidity longer in the event of drought. Erosion is practically zero, because the soil, well aerated by compost, by mechanical work and by living organisms such as earthworms, has a very high permeability which facilitates the supply of groundwater.
Since 1974, they have been experimenting with essential oils which limit the evolution of parasitic fungi, and since 1980, they have been exploring the field of homeopathy. Nowadays, they hardly have to intervene against parasitic insects, as the balance of the fauna seems sufficient to limit the damage caused by them.
All alcoholic fermentations takes place using indigenous yeasts. The still wine will then be racked during the winter. In spring, the malolactic fermentation is allowed to happen naturally. The Beauforts then add a small quantity of unrefined cane sugar or concentrated grape sugar, before bottling to move into the second fermentation phase. The bottles will be stored horizontally, while the sugar is transformed into alcohol and carbon dioxide. They riddle for about a month on a manual console. Disgorging "on the fly" requires opening the bottle while lifting it, in order to only let the deposit go without losing too much Champagne and without prior freezing of the neck. They then add an expedition liqueur based on concentrated grape sugar to obtain the desired level of sweetness. The disgorging date is written on the labels, in the batch number.
Their excellent range of cuvées include the Grand Crus Ambonnay and Le Polisy.