The Wine Company


Gaston Chiquet

Although the Chiquet family has been growing vines since 1746, the history of Chiquet’s champagne production dates from 1919, when Gaston Chiquet and his brother Fernand began bottling wine under the label Chiquet Frères. Gaston left the company in 1935 to start his own label; Chiquet Frères changed its name to Chiquet Père et Fils, and thirty years later that branch of the family would eventually buy the house of Jacquesson. Gaston Chiquet, meanwhile, continued to expand his vineyard holdings and produce estate-bottled champagne, eventually passing the estate on to his son Claude. Today the estate is in the hand of Claude Chiquet’s two sons: Antoine, who has been at the estate since 1982, and Nicolas, who began in 1991.

The vineyards are composed roughly of 40 percent Chardonnay, 40 percent Meunier and 20 percent Pinot Noir, largely in the villages of Aÿ, Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, Dizy and Hautvillers, in the Grande Vallée de la Marne. Although the Chiquets own vines in other areas such as the Vallée de l’Ardre and the Vallée de l’Aisne, these grapes generally go into an inexpensive cuvée called Carte Blanche, and from the Tradition on up, the wines are composed entirely of premier and grand cru grapes. Incidentally, Nicolas Chiquet notes that they always seem to harvest a slightly lower quantity of grapes than their neighbors. He attributes this to old vines, old soils and the lack of high production clones, as almost all of the Chiquet vineyards are still selection massale (i.e., replanting a vineyard by propagating cuttings from a small number of plants in the vineyard).

There is no wood used in the cellar, as the Chiquets feel that the wines already have a lot of body and character in this area, and barrels would make the wine too heavy. “We are not making wines as winemakers,” says Nicolas Chiquet. “We are adapting our methods to the land.” In fact, Claude Chiquet had already decreased the barrel program here in the 1950s in favor of concrete and glass-lined tanks, as he sought to impart more finesse into his wines and make them less weighty. Malolactic is always allowed to occur in order to decrease the harshness of malic acidity, as well as to allow for the use of less dosage at disgorgement, and in fact, dosage is carefully thought out here: dosage has been steadily decreasing in recent times, not because of fashion, but because of the greater maturity of the grapes due to increasingly warmer weather.

Available Wines

facebook Instagram Pinterest youtube
facebook instagram
Signup of email series

Popular Articles