Gaston Chiquet

The Chiquet family were, historically, always growers. They started to make their own Champagnes during the second decade of the 20th century. The brand itself was created in 1935 but the family waited until the 70s and 80s to increase vineyard holdings. The current holding is 23 ha with 40% planted to Pinot Meunier, 40% to Chardonnay and 20% to Pinot Noir but they are systematically looking to decrease the amount of Pinot Meunier vineyards  in favour of Chardonnay due to the effects of climate change on Meunier.

In the vineyard, the Chiquets have been working towards higher density plantings to decrease production and increase quality. They are trialing the use of horses to see if they can replace machines. They do not use herbicides and rely on more frequent ploughing instead. Due to the richer soils in Dizy, Chiquet grow grass in alternate rows to give competition to the roots. There is a real effort here to decrease the use of copper sprays and meticulous weather monitoring is employed to allow for a more controlled spray regime.

Gaston Chiquet tend to start harvest early and often pick well before anyone else. They employ two hydraulic presses to allow him to press quickly and avoid the pick up of phenolics in the wines. The wines are fermented in stainless steel to avoid the pick up of oxygen and are settled for 15 hours after the ferment finishes. They employ malolactic fermentation to achieve balance and mouthfeel and also because it allows them to use less SO2. Dosage is dependent on the final acidity of the wine so changes for every bottling. The dosage comprises Chardonnay from Ay to make the wine softer but also to respect the quality of the terroir.