Champagne Lelarge-Pugeot | Vrigny | France
Champagne Lelarge-Pugeot is an eighth generation winery in the premier cru Champagne village of Vrigny, France. The Pinot Meunier grape represents 60% of the total plantings, balanced by Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Husband and wife team, Dominque and Dominque, manage the winery along with their three children, each of whom has a distinct role within the business. Their father has worked the vineyards over thirty years. He began implementing practices in 1985 to transform the vineyards from conventional to organic and biodynamic farming. In 2012, Lelarge-Pugeot's first 100% organic harvest was AB certified. A pair of horses, Ursulle and Samba, plow the vineyards during the year, preventing soil compaction. This allows the top layers of soil access to oxygen, boosting the overall health of the soil, vines and grapes. In 2015, the family will begin a winery expansion to deepen the cellars.
The winery is located in the village of Vrigny, a 15 minute drive west of Reims. Just over 20 acres of vineyards are situated in the communes of Vrigny, Coulommes-la-Montagne and Gueux. Soils are classic chalk and clay loam. The vines grow over gently rolling hills at altitudes around 400 feet.
Viticulture & Winemaking
Lelarge-Pugeot's vineyards are spread out over 42 distinct parcels in and around the village of Vrigny and farmed according to organic and biodynamic methods. In 1985, Dominque began reducing outputs in the vineyards, anticipating a conversion to organic farming and certification. Grasses and plants are used between the vine rows to impart valuable nutrients to the soil. All grapes are hand-harvested and flow through the winery by gravity process. Only naturally-occuring yeasts are in use. A Bücher pneumatic press allows the grapes to be gently handled under very specific pressure. Both stainless steel and oak are used in winemaking. The turning of bottles is accomplished with a gyropalette. Lelarge-Pugeot produces a complete array of Champagne styles, including demi-sec, rosé, blanc de blancs and a unique 100% Pinot Meunier cuvée.