Champagne Piollot today is the joint work of Roland Piollot and his wife Dominique Moreau. The history is rich at Champagne Piollot. For five generations the Piollot family has been growing grapes, shaping the contours of what we know today as the Champagne appellation, advancing rootstock selection and grafting techniques and working organically and biodynamically in a region that has been anything but on the forefront of such approaches. Champagne Piollot is firmly rooted in the Cotes des Bar in the French department of the Aube. The Cotes des Bar is the southernmost Champagne region and sits about 100 kilometers south of the more widely known Champagne producing areas of Riems and Epernay.
The Piollot vineyards are located primarily in and around the town of Polisot. Roland's father was extremely passionate about vineyard work, and replanted all of his vineyards using the selection massale method. The vineyards in the Aube are typically comprised of Kimmeridgian clay soils more akin to those found in Chablis versus the predominantly chalk based soils found in the north of Champagne. In addition to the usual Champagne grape suspects of Pinot Noir (particularly popular in the Aube) and Chardonnay, about 10% of the vines at Champagne Piollot are old vine Pinot Blanc. Since 1986 Roland has been bottling the wines himself, and since 2009, they have converted the vines to organic farming becoming fully certified in 2014.
If you are familiar with the Marie-Courtin wines, it should come as little surprise that the Champagne Piollot wines are made in a bright, crisp, lively, yet serious style with zero dosage. Roland and Dominique feel that the addition of sugar to the wines of the Aube generally, and theirs in particular, lends a heaviness that they don’t appreciate. I applaud that view. While density and power may be the natural outcome for certain wines, it shouldn’t be at the expense of elegance and transparency.
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