The slow flow of the Marne towards Paris, where it joins the Seine, marks the landscape of Ouelly, a small village on the left bank of the river where vines dominate the valley sides. The soil here is rich in clay, brought by the river over millennia. This is the most suitable terroir for Pinot Meunier, which, on a soil with less acidity than the limestone and chalk of the Montagne de Reims and Cote des Blancs, yields its best fruit. For decades, the Littière family has been producing their own (Recoltant Manipulant) Champagne of decisive territorial importance.
The change of pace came when Marie Helene, the daughter of the founder Michel, married Francois Chaumont, oenologist and in turn producer in Puisieulx, in the Montagne de Reims. The two joined forces; the well-equipped Littière cellar became the domain of Francois Chaumont, who took care of the grapes on both properties.
The results were not long in coming and Francois, after years of pinot noir in the Montagne de Reims, immediately took the measure of the pinot meunier of the Vallèe de la Marne as well. The Littière’s five hectares are scrutinised parcel by parcel, all vinified individually and tested from harvest to harvest. Each individual vat is tasted and only if it is deemed up to standard is it transformed into Littière Champagne, otherwise it is sold to the local Champagne retailers.
Francois Chaumont’s technical skills can be read clearly in the glass. He is the architect of a series of precise and highly enjoyable Champagnes, endowed with extreme cleanliness and great enjoyability.