You’ll find Champagne Roger-Constant Lemaire located a short drive away West from Epernay in the village of Villers sous Châtillon. The family owned grower Champagne label owns 12 hectares of vines on the sunny slopes of the Marne Valley and their history dates back to the end of the 19th century in Hautvilliers.
When you visit Champagne Roger-Constant Lemaire and meet the wine making family led by Gilles Tournant and his wife Brigitte along with their two sons who work in the business, Sébastien and Guillaume, you really feel their warmth and passion for their work. They are a great example of an up and coming grower Champagne brand that is steeped in family history and traditions and expanding their brand at the same time internationally.
Though in the shadow of the many big Champagne houses, Roger-Constant Lemaire is just a small producer, its wines still pack a punch and have received many awards to date and their distribution is international. Gilles shares with me proudly a recent updated list of where you can enjoy a glass of his Champagne in the USA and places like Michelin star venues in Las Vegas, Virginia and Williamsburg are on the list.
The family produce their wines from vine to bottle with a winery, cellars and modern tasting room in the village. Sébastien who is in charge of brand marketing and sales took me on a tour of their winery and cellars along with a couple of other visitors on the day from Paris.
“We are not using the malolactic fermentation method and every Champagne in our collection is aged between 4 and 6 years in our cellars. We are very respectful to nature and we are careful with our farming methods such as fertilizing our vineyards with organic algae from Norway.” Sébastien added.
From the tour it was time for a one to one tasting with Gilles who was eager to show me two vintages of 2004 and the 2009 that were both very expressive with an explosion of refreshing tastes on the palate.