Champagne house Mailly on being different in a competitive market
Jean-François Preau, General Managing Director for Champagne Mailly Grand Cru, shares what makes this Champagne house stand out.
Since 1929, Champagne Mailly Grand Cru has been the story of what we see as a remarkable adventure, inspired by our great terroir in the Montagne De Reims. Mailly Grand Cru is the only Champagne house to source all of its wines from Grand Cru vineyards. Only 17 of Champagne’s 320 villages currently enjoy Grand Cru status. We only use Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes in our Champagnes.
As a Grand Cru Champagne house how do you differentiate yourself from the other Grand Cru houses?
We have always believed in following sustainable agricultural practices as part of our commitment to, and long-standing relationship, with our vineyard. Since 2015 the steps we have taken have been recognised with two certifications: VDC (Viticulture Durable en Champagne); and HVE (Haute Valeur Environnementale). Champagne Mailly Grand Cru was the first co-operative to be certified in Champagne in February 2018, and the third overall in France, of which 74% was certified in February 2019 and 90% of the land will be certified in 2020.
What style of Champagne are you looking to make at Champagne Mailly?
The estate covers 35 distinct geographical areas (lieux-dits) that face north, south, east and west, and are planted on chalky slopes ideal for growing grapes. All of them are different. We know that every one of these named plots has specific characteristics, so we work with the wine growers to choose the best time to pick and press the grapes. Each of these plots are fermented separately in small tanks and casks. This emphasis on single-vineyard cuvées provides the cellar master with a range of exceptional still wines that are the key to successful blending.
Reserve wines are this estate’s particular forte. The house boasts a unique collection of still wines that express the significant variations between harvests, some stored in small tanks, others in tuns. Wines from more than 10 distinct vintages are at the chef de cave’s disposal to use as required when blending.
THE HOUSE NOW EXPORTS TO MORE THAN 35 COUNTRIES WORLDWIDE, THROUGH SELECTED IMPORTERS WHO SHARE OUR COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE IN CHAMPAGNE.
The Mailly Grand Cru style captures the spirit of the estate, offering a range of nine wines that play on the myriad of nuances from the 35 ‘lieux- dits’. The ultimate reflection of an intimate understanding of our vines and soils.
What are the biggest opportunities for you as a Grand Cru Champagne house?
The house now exports to more than 35 countries worldwide, through selected importers who share our commitment to excellence in Champagne. Our fastest growing export markets are the US, China and Northern Europe.
Hall 1 / Stand DE121
Jean-François Preau General Managing Director, Champagne Mailly Grand Cru