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It all started with a cooperage that Eugène founded in Hautvillers at the beginning of the 20th century.
"We have kept our love of wooden barrels ever since, optimizing the possibilities it offers us," say Eugène's great-great-granddaughter Florence Bliard and her partner Antoine. In the fourth generation, they jointly run the family estate, which already had pioneering status in the 1960s: as one of the first winegrowers in Champagne, Jean Bliard began to cultivate his vineyards organically - long before this type of agriculture became popular.
Despite this economic method, which was viewed with skepticism at the time, people remained stubborn and were and still are convinced that high-quality wines with a strong character can only come from living soil and healthy grapes.
At the beginning of the 1970s, they began bottling their own champagne. The grapes that grow on the edges of their own sites are sold, here the input of chemicals from the surrounding, conventionally working winegrowers is not excluded.
The winery is located in Hautvillers in the Vallée de la Marne, where different soil formations and terroirs meet. This enables the Bliards to cultivate all three main grape varieties - Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier - despite their small area of only four hectares (spread over 16 plots!).
In the cellar, they return to old techniques in order to press modern champagne at the cutting edge. The hallmark of the house is that all base wines mature in oak barrels for about a year. Grandfather Jean bought the oldest, a taller than a man's foudre from the 1960s. Under Florence's father, Vincent Bliard, smaller 228-litre Pièces from Burgundy also found their way. The use of wood makes the champagne appear earthy, extracts the primary fruit from them and gives them an immensely spicy depth.
Great value is placed on a long yeast storage, 4 - 5 years is already the base cuvée - many winegrowers leave it here at a maximum of two years.
The use of sulfur is reduced to a minimum, and there is no filtration or fining. Even the labels for the bottles are colored with surplus from food production (lemon peel, grass, cane sugar).
The focus on sustainability, responsible use of natural resources and craftsmanship is stringent and is implemented as consistently as in few companies.
Under Florence and Antoine, the champagnes even gained in character.
They are wild and substantial, complex and bursting with their own.
The fact that the natural development leaves one or the other edge unpolished only makes their wines even more exciting (Florence itself lovingly calls it: "touche de naturel").
We break every lance for champagne with signature and are very happy to have found such with the wines from Bliard.
Facts: RM, Hautvillers, Vallée de la Marne, 4 hectares, 12,000 bottles, 40% Pinot Noir, 30% Pinot Meunier, 30% Chardonnay