Gratiot Pilliere

Champagne, France

The Story

Nestled into the most western edge of Champagne, literally half way between Paris and Reims, is a small town called Charly-sur-Marne. This town could be nicknamed the “town of the Gratiot’s” because the family name originates here and has expanded over more than 11 generations. Louis Gratiot, the patriarch of it all, began the estate over 300 years ago, in 1657.

In 1991, Olivier and Sébastien took over the estate from their father. Through generations of know-how, the brothers continue to devote themselves to growing quality grapes to produce the best possible results. The focus is mainly on Pinot Meunier, which accounts for 80% of the production over 15km of vines stretching from Château-Thierry to Charly-sur-Marne. The remaining 15% Chardonnay and 5% Pinot Noir are equally as important for blending purposes and their ultra elegant, vintage dated, Blanc de Blancs. With 18 hectares of vines, the Gratiot’s have a persistent presence in the vines and manage a sustainable agriculture and minimal interventionist farming.

If ever given the chance, you’ll see they are lively and entertaining hosts – they may encourage late-night dance parties and foosball tournaments when you’re a guest. This energy ultimately translates to their wine: a dedication to authenticity, value and a sense of joie de vivre.

Lay of the Land

Champagne is a winemaking region based on a multitude of vineyards historically owned by large Champagne houses that have practiced the act of blending for decades. Champagne houses are credited with bringing this region to its international status of being the most celebratory wine in the world. The Vallée de la Marne, named after the region's most significant river, is home to Pinot Meunier. Known for its delicate floral tones, Pinot Meunier makes beautiful single varietal Champagne. Though, it is often thought of as a blending agent to the better-known Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes. This appellation, which makes up the northwestern part of Champagne, is dominated by Cretaceous chalk with a topsoil of clay, limestone and some flint. The Gratiot-Pilliere family has been making wine here for eleven generations and continuously focuses on vinifying Pinot Meunier based Champagne that is unwavering in its quality and distinctive nature.