Champagne Michel Gonet
Michel Gonet's champagne house is famous for its pure Blanc de Blancs wines. The estate's seven-generation history began in 1802 when Charles Gonet founded his own champagne house, Gonet et Fils. In 1935, Michel Gonet was born, who suffered from a blocked esophagus when he was born. A newborn baby was given a sip of champagne, which made the esophagus work, so we can directly say that the champagne saved his life! In 1973, Michel decided to leave the original premises to make room for his brothers, and together with his wife Annie, built a new cellar bearing his name in Avize. More than a decade later, in 1986, Michel fell in love with the Bordeaux region and started working there together with his three children, Sophie, Charles-Henri and Frédéric. Today, the family has a total of eight properties in Bordeaux, both on the right and on the left bank.
The family farm's values strongly include respect for the environment, which is why the farm is undergoing an audit of both the HVE Haut Valeur Environnementale and VDC Viticulture Durable en Champagne certificates. Preserving and strengthening the biodiversity of the shelters is an essential part of the family's activities. Covering 38 hectares, the vineyards are located in the Grand Cru villages of the Côte des Blancs, Côte de Sezanne, Montgueux and Bar-sur-Aubois. The Sezannes nurseries are located in the village of Vindey, where the soil consists of clay and lime, and in some places sand. These orchards bring floweriness, liveliness and freshness to the farm's wines. Near Troyes, in Montgueux, the soil is calcareous clay and shale, which gives the wines strength and spiciness. The vineyards of Montgueux face south, which is why the grapes are richly aromatic and ripe. In the Côte des Blancs region, vineyards can be found in the villages of Avize, Oger and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, where clay topsoil and limestone subsoil produce mineral and structured wines. A small number of red varieties grow in the Côte des Bar, which produces fruity grapes from the limestone and shale beds of Fravaux.
All the estate's wines are made in Avize's 12-meter-deep clay cellar, built in 1973, where each plot is vinified separately at low temperatures of 12-13°C. Malolactic fermentation does not happen systematically, but is either allowed or prevented depending on the abundance, ripeness and acidity of the vintage. Once blended, the wines go through a second fermentation and mature, depending on the cuvée, for 3-10 years before being decanted and recorked. Wine made from Chardonnay is used as a moderate dosage.
Today, Sophie Gonet is responsible for the farm's production, and together with sommelier consultant Marco Pelletier and her young winemaker Antoine Gomérieux, the wines are more complex every year. Sophie's good friend, the Burgundian winemaking legend Jean-Marc Roulot, supplies the estate with old barrels in which Le Mesnil-sur-Oger's basic wines are allowed to mature before the second fermentation. The farm's wines have received a lot of attention recently, as Jancis Robinson MW chose the farm as his Grand Cru favorite in a blind tasting organized by Noble Rot, where champagnes and English sparkling wines were tasted side by side.
The farm's annual production is around 150,000 bottles, as some of the cultivated grapes are sold on.