The Doyard family is based in Vertus in the Côte des Blancs, with winemaking roots in Champagne trace back to 1677 when a marriage license of Jean-Baptiste Doyard listed “winegrower” as the occupation. In 1927 they released their first wines under the Doyard and in 1979, Yannick Doyard took over, turning it into a beacon for precise, vinous, mineral-etched Champagne in the Côtes des Blancs. Today, Yannick’s son Guillaume is at the helm, farming 10 ha of prime vineyards in the Premier Cru village of Vertus and the Grand Cru villages of Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, Cramant, Oger, Avize (combined 9 hectares of Chardonnay) and Aÿ (1 hectare of Pinot Noir).
The domaine employs organic farming, with most of the vineyards worked by horse to protect the soils. They do not replant any vineyards, but replace individual vines only if absolutely necessary to continuously increase the average age of their vines. Yields are kept very low to promote root depth, adding to the concentrated intensity that defines the estate’s style.
In the cellar, all wines undergo long lees aging: a minimum of 48 months for all cuvées, and much longer for some wines.
Wine Advocate's William Kelley commented the following on the domaine: "A visit to this venerable Vertus domaine is invariably one of the highlights of my time in Champagne, and my late 2020 tasting was no exception. Blessed with 10 hectares of prime holdings in Versus, Mesnil-sur-Oger, Oger, Avize, Cramant and Aÿ, their vines—some of which are cordon-pruned and all of which are farmed without herbicides or pesticides—produce intensely concentrated grapes that are selectively pressed and vinified in wood. Deep, concentrated and characterful, everything that bears the Doyard label is well worth serious attention, and these new releases are especially impressive. Indeed, given the quality to be found at this address—and the long track record—the wines deserve to be even better known."
We could not agree more with William; the Doyard Champagnes deserve much more recognition. The wines embody the true magic of a great Champagne, they are precise, complex, elegant, and produced with a superb combination of skill, experience and love for the grapes and the environment.