Vineyard

The Demets family is based in Gyé-sur-Seine in the fabulous village of Côte des Bar.

The winery covers slightly over 10 hectares of vines spread over the villages of Gyé-sur-Seine, Neuville-sur-Seine, Courteron, Polisy and Buxeuil; along the Seine Valley.

The vineyard’s 15 plots stand on limestone and clay soil (Kimmeridgian and Portland Group) all with different exposures. Chardonnay (white grape) accounts for 30% of the vines. The grape variety makes the Champagne sophisticated, elegant and fresh. We have one Pinot Blanc plot (white grape) which is an unusual variety in Champagne. It brings very sweet yellow fruit aromas. Pinot Noir grows on the rest of the land (black grape with white juice) which gives the wine strength and body.

We focus our attention on growing our vines all year round. It's what we do: we can't make good Champagne without good grapes.

Steps

Pruning

Out of everything we do to the vine, pruning forms the foundation as the precision and expertise it involves what makes or breaks the harvest. Pruning is what makes the vine strong, fertile and ripe. Pruning affects how it grows and thrives.

It's the first thing that happens after the harvest.

It starts when the leaves start to fall and stops between mid-December and mid-January so the plant can hibernate. It stops again in late March.

Pruning

Tillage

Any groundwork is planned and handled to respect the soil. We sow ground cover in autumn to combat weeds.

We also use machinery on the plots to till the surface to remove any weeds in the plant's vegetation.

Tillage

Suckering

Suckering rounds off the work that went into pruning and prepares the vine for the following year's pruning.

We remove secondary buds from each plant to help air the vine stock.

That means the grapes have lots of space to grow, makes them significantly less prone to disease and packs the grapes full of flavour.

Suckering

Trellising

Trellising is man-powered way to train the plant, give it balance and air it so it has the best conditions for the grapes to grow and ripen.

Good trellising helps combat disease too.

Trellising

Harvesting

This is the end of a year of work. The grapes are hand-picked one plot at a time. The grapes are sorted on-site so only the best bunches are picked. The rest are left on the ground.

Harvesting

Harvest timeline

2014

September 11th-19th harvest

A wonderful June saw the vines flourish. But it was a cold and wet summer. The bright September sunshine helped the grapes ripen beautifully. There would be a 2014 vintage.

Normal yield

Excellent quality

Sunny

2015

September 2nd-9th harvest

It was a mild winter but a very hot and dry summer. Luckily the late August rain helped compensate for the low grape yield. There would be a 2015 vintage.

Normal yield

Excellent quality

Sun

2016

September 15th-22nd harvest

Heavy spring frost that affected the entire French vineyard. Summer weather conditions ideal for the grapes growing and ripening properly.

Very low yield

Average quality

Sunny

2017

August 30th-September 7th harvest.

Heavy spring frost. Normal summer. Plot vintages.

Medium yield

Excellent quality

Summery

2018

August 24th-September 7th harvest

No frost but several hailstorms which affected the Chardonnay vines. Heatwave in summer. Late August rain saw a good harvest. Plot vintages

High yield

Very good quality

Sunny

2019

September 7th-17th harvest

Mild winter and spring. Small clusters caused by the summer drought and heatwave. Plot vintages.

Good yield

Very good quality

Good weather

2020

August 24th-September 2nd harvest

Rainy spring with no frost or hail. Sunny summer with showers. Consistent vine growth. Late August drought which brought harvesting forward. Plot vintages

Medium yield

Very good quality

Sunny

2021

September 14th-22nd harvest

Extensive spring frost (11 days) throughout the French vineyard. 60-75% of our winery was affected. Very rainy spring and summer. Difficult growth year.

Very low yield

Average quality

Sunny