The Maillart family has vine-growing roots tracing back to 1753, when our ancestors grew vines in the neighbouring village of Chamery; although there is a document that suggests the tradition goes back even further, referring to a “measure of vines” in 1533 that was mapped out by Pierre Maillart, a surveyor working in Chamery for the Saint Nicaise abbey.
Nicolas Maillart is now the ninth generation in charge. He returned to the family vineyards in 2003 after completing his studies in engineering and oenology. His passion for the environment led him to build 130 square meters of photovoltaic panels in 2009, which represent a production equivalent to 90% of their consumption, greatly reducing the carbon footprint. The domaine is now labeled HVE (high environmental value) and sustainable viticulture, taking into account criteria such as biodiversity, pest strategy, and water management, making the family the first in Champagne to obtain this double labeling.
The family owns vines in the Premier and Grand Cru villages of the Montagne de Reims. Having long since settled in the area and becoming wholly familiar with the vineyards, the ancestors were able to keep and select the best terroirs. With many older, well-established vines that are mostly planted halfway up the hillsides, the vineyards are ideally located for producing excellent quality wines. In keeping with the region’s typicity, the Maillart vineyards contain a high proportion of Pinot Noir vines (75%) together with Chardonnay; the Pinot Noir providing power and substance to complement the finesse of the Chardonnay. However, Nicolas also loves to make a varietal Chardonnay and Meunier.
One of their unique plots consists of ungrafted vines. After the phylloxera crisis in the early 20th century caused tremendous damage to the vineyards, including this particular plot, the vines were gradually replanted with grafted stock. However, Nicolas' father noticed that many plants died except those that had developed their own root system. On the basis of this observation, he decided in 1973, to replant an entire plot with mass selection, non-grafted Pinot Noir, as it had originally been. Almost fifty years later, the vines are still alive and producing premium-quality grapes. Nicolas and his father decided to bottle a unique cuvée for this plot, the Les Coupes, but only in excellent years.
In the winery, Nicolas believes the key to great wines lies in paying particular attention to the first few hours. He regularly monitors its progress by tasting and gears subsequent practices accordingly. Vinification and maturing are carried out either in vats or in the barrel depending on the source of the grapes. His reserve wines are also partly matured in barrels to increase their complexity. This gives Nicolas a wide variety of wines to choose from when blending, enabling him to make Champagnes of a consistent quality whilst also being able to set aside those that are highly original and particularly expressive. After laying down in the cellar for a long period, the wines are disgorged, followed by a further few months in the cellar before labelling and packaging.
We currently have no Nicolas Maillart wines in stock.