Champagne Caillez Lemaire

Champagne Caillez Lemaire à Damery

In the beginning the sun...

Then, the terroir

Sitting mainly on the right bank of the Marne Valley, our vineyards benefit from the warm, sunny location.
Our vineyards are very fragmented: from East to West, they begin in Hautvillers, with our oldest plot, planted by our great-grandfather. They follow on to Cumières, then Damery, where the majority of the plots are situated and where the family house was built in 1825.

It continues to the North, with plots of land on the heights of Fleury-la-Rivière. Across the Marne River is our only vineyard in Vauciennes.

Thirty-seven plots are spread out over five villages, each marked by a different terroir. A few of our vines are in the northern sector, and many of them offer us a superb view of the river as it winds its way down the valley.

The nuances found in the subsoil and soil contribute to give our wines their character. We navigate from the attributes of chalk on thin top soil to clay-rich soil of various depths, and through complex mixes of silt and sand with an occasional intermingling of clay.

Then, our grapes

We want them to express the best of our terroir.
We promote biodiversity and healthy root systems through the use of alternative methods that allow the propagation of ground cover between the vines and careful ploughing of the soil.

We excluded the use of insecticides many years ago. In 2014, we obtained recognition for these efforts by receiving HVE Certification (High Environmental Value).

After eliminating the use of chemical weed killers, we made a commitment to start the process of conversion to organic farming.

We feel that we have a responsibility to the natural environment and for the impact of our actions. We are especially concerned about preserving the quality of water, which is so susceptible to chemical residue.

Furthermore, we observe that an approach in favour of restoring the flow of Nature reinforces the complexity, freshness and identity of the wines.

Our vineyards consist of the following grape varieties: 2.5 hectares of Meunier, 2 hectares of Chardonnay and 1.5 hectares of Pinot Noir.

Harvesting for winemaking

Sincerity is essential for us: this means offering our customers a wine for which we have controlled every stage of its production, starting with the vineyards where we do everything in our power to obtain a good quality harvest.
Throughout the year, our employees contribute significantly to this task, the culmination of which is the harvest, carried out by our team of pickers. Knowing how the grapes have been grown and how they have ripened is the first step towards making one's own wine.

Independence has always been a key concept for our family; it is also the motto of the Vignerons Indépendants network of which we are a member.

The texture of wood

Champagne is defined both by its terroir and its winemaker.
Our vinification techniques (no filtration, no fining, no malolactic fermentation, temperature control, etc.) leave an impact on our Champagnes.

40 % of our wines go further still, bearing the strong influence of oak barrels.

Barrels allow the wines to fully express themselves and highlight their complex, rich aromas.

Our barrels are stored in a cool environment, in cellars, which enables the juice to ferment slowly and develop a very long finish.

This vinification also helps us to keep our plots separate and create more precise blends.

Furthermore, oak barrels are natural products which only require water, air, fire and the hand of man (according to our barrel maker Jérôme Viard).

These are the reasons why we have decided to use even more oak barrels in the future.

Aging in
the soft light of the cellars

Each year, we create and recreate our blends.
Once bottled, the newly born Champagne still needs to age...

We are lucky to own old cellars which maintain the perfect temperature.

We decide on the duration of the ageing process according to each cuvee's aging potential.. For our Jadis cuvee, we have chosen a very demanding ageing technique: upon bottling, bottles are sealed using natural corks fastened with traditional metal wires. Letting the Champagne age in the cellars for the optimal 8-year period preserves the freshness which makes this Champagne so generous and complex.

In the end, it's all about passion

CAILLEZ LEMAIRE Champagne is the tale of men and women inspired by their hometown valley.
For centuries, they have strived to promote their affection for their terroir, comprised of numerous plots along the banks of the River Marne, embodied in their cuvées and marked by the intensity of their flavours.

Raymond CAILLEZ and Andrée LEMAIRE, born into families in the wine-growing business since the 18th century, were suffused with a sense of independence, determination and creativity, and became wine-growers/producers themselves, founding their brand at the ages of 22 and 20 years respectively.

Their heirs, Annie and Henri Caillez have further developed the domain, handing down their skills to Virginie and Laurent Vanpoperinghe who today uphold the values of their family Champagne house.