Charmed by the champagne house of Ployez-Jacquemart

As we pulled up through the gates of the champagne house/B&B of Ployez-Jacquemart we heard a doorbell go off. I walked back through the gate to get a picture and the bell went off again. Ah, a sensor gate, a very good way to know when people have entered the compound, either on foot or by car, especially when the winemaker is in the kitchen or round the side in the winery. A jolly, small round French woman came rushing out the front door to greet us. It was the owner and winemaker of Ployez-Jacquemart, Laurance Ployez. I could already tell that Laurance was very passionate about her wines and on a tour of the winery and cellars she was bursting to give us as much information as possible about her house and they wines that they make. Laurance is one of the small grower/producers that make up the bulk of Champagne producers. Most own no more than 3 hectares. Based in Ludes, Ployez is family run champagne and has been since 1930 when it was founded by Marcel Ployez and Yvonne Jacquemart. Laurance grows pinot noir and pinot meunier which come from the Premier and Grand cru villages of Ludes and Mailly and all work is done by hand. As is common practice, she guys in grapes, in this case, chardonnay but only from a carefully selected band of growers, some of whom she’s worked with for over 20 years. Everything is done by hand and only the first pressing juice is used, from the picking to the riddling, she oversees it all. Although they have no particular house “style”, Laurence is always trying to create a wine that is unique to her. They use the “methode traditionalle” and long bottle fermentation as well as not letting their wines go through malolactic fermentation, so they will keep their fresh qualities for many years. They also change the blend every year depending on the quality of the grapes. There is no “recipe” at Ployez-Jacquemart....

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