This impeccably-run estate in Avize may be small in size, but its vineyard holdings are impressive, as all four hectares of vines lie in the grand cru villages of Avize, Oiry, Oger and Cramant. The Fannière family has been growing vines in the Côte des Blancs since 1860, and Jean Fannière began producing estate-bottled champagnes in the 1950s. Fannière was succeeded by his son-in-law, Guy Varnier, and since 1989, Guy’s son Denis has been in charge of the estate.
Denis Varnier places a strong emphasis on the preservation of old vines, and the average age of the estate’s vines is between 30 and 50 years old. He notes that vines under 20 years old are often deceptive: “You think the flavors are rich, but in the final wine they’re not.” Vinification takes place in stainless steel tank, and the wines are bottled relatively early. “I prefer the wine to evolve in the bottle rather than in tank, so I try to get as much time in the bottle as possible,” says Varnier.