In 1818, Nicolas Francois Billecart and Elisabeth Salmon founded a Champagne house in Mareuil-sur-AØ that is still family owned and operated by their descendants nearly 200 years later. The estate-grown grapes total 100 hectares, while those used in production (of 220 hectares) are sourced from 40 crus in the Champagne region. The grapes for BillecartÕs most prestigious cuvee, however, are hidden away in a small garden plot next to the family home in Mareuil-sur-AØ. The Clos Saint-Hilaire, named after the patron saint of the regionÕs church, measures just one hectare of Pinot Noir planted in 1968. Today, the 6th generation, Francois and Antoine Roland are at the helm of the house, supported by Denis BlŽe, Vineyard Director. BlŽe knows the vineyards well; heÕs been their keeper for the past twenty years. Using draught horses to till the vineyard, he promotes deep, minerally enriched roots that produce small, concentrated berries. This method also assists to promote biodiversity in the vineyard, which has allowed the winery to do away with herbicides.
- Extra Brut Vintage was conceived in 2004, a good vintage but without the structure required for the Nicolas François label. Hence it was effectively declassified and released as Extra Brut Vintage. Both labels were produced in 2006, 2007 and 2008. To distinguish it ... Learn More