Discover the key stages of a family business dating back to over 200 years.
Pierre-Henri Lelarge was born and moved to Vrigny where he got married. And thus, the story of winegrowers in the Lelarge family begins…
The northern part of the Champagne region was greatly impacted during the first World War. Raymond, 5th generation of the Lelarge family, joined the army and went to war. Meanwhile, his family escaped to Polisy in Southern Champagne.
After returning from the war, the Lelarge family began restorations on the vineyard while Raymond began building a press machine.
Champagne Lelarge is bottled for the first time.
Marcel, Raymond’s son, and Fernande (Marcel’s wife) took over the winery. In 1963, Dominique, the current generation, was born.
Dominique takes off to Beaune in Burgundy to study viticulture and oenology where he met his future wife, Dominique Pugeot. A few years later, the couple takes over the winery, which then became Champagne Lelarge-Pugeot.
The young couple decided to envision a new way of farming. They began reducing their usage of pesticides and herbicides asking themselves, “Why would we do something to our vines that we would not do to ourselves?”
The family began working on their winery, building a new cellar and press machine with the potential of bottling more Champagne.
Dominique decided to stop the use of insecticides and herbicides completely with the goal of letting the predatory wildlife take its course as nature intended. He also started growing grass between the vines.
All the vines developed cover crops which signaled that it was now time to start ploughing more.
Thanks to a much more respectful way of farming, grapes come in the winery at a higher sugar level, which allows the winery to produce a Coteaux Champenois Rouge, a still red of Pinot noir.
Some parcels are ploughed with horses.
The family commited to the organic certification with Ecocert.
Meunier is the ancestral grape of the terroir of Vrigny. The first 100% Meunier is bottled.
With the goal of producing the entire estate, the family reduced the amount of grapes sold. Clémence, the oldest daughter, joined the family business and started promoting the Champagnes throughout the world.
The first vintage of Blanc de Meunier is bottled. A white wine made from a red grape. A delish!
The year of CHANGE! Half of the vineyard is now certified organic. Then, Dominique starts practicing biodynamie. During the 2014 harvest, some of the wines were made 100% within the natural way. No manipulation, no sulfur, no sugar. This juice will be the cuvee “Nature et Non dose”.
The vineyard of the estate was certified organic by ECOCERT. An extension of the current winery building started with a projection of completion in 2017.
The family acquires bee hives.
The 7th and 8th generations are working together. Valentin, the middle child joined the team in 2015. Another great news for this new year, the winery is certified biodynamic (Demeter).
Our team has a new member, a border collie, the guardian of the winery; Nova (on the left in the picture)
The cellar is finished and couple new fermenters arrives: amphoras from the Basque Country and 500L barrels.
We planted lots of fruit trees (peach, apple, cherry, plum, almond) to encourage natural biodiversity in the vineyard.