A journey into the southern Champagne region with this Côte des Bar winegrower.
The village of Celles-sur-Ource is home to Philippe Fays' vineyards, where he grows and turn into wine grape varieties so emblematic of his terroir. Among them, the Chardonnay, along with the region's emblematic Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc, an endemic variety that brings a distinctive touch to the blends.
What's the house style?
Malolactic fermentation on all cuvées, helping to soften the wine's natural acidity for softer, rounder aromas throughout tasting.
The Philippe Fays champagne as it exists today was first created in 1986. In its early days, the domain only comprised a few plots inherited from Philippe's grandfather, to which some rented vines were added. The objective was obvious: sow the seeds of vinification as soon as possible and sell his own champagne. The first two cuvées were developed, and gradually complemented over the years by champagnes exploring the potential of the terroir on this 4-hectare domain, creating today's range.
Producing a truly good Champagne requires a little luck (we work alongside nature who knows how to be generous with anyone who respects her), quality grapes and therefore healthy vines. In other words, caring for our terroir.
Our domain has been following one rule since 1999: sustainable viticulture (since renamed "viticulture raisonnable et durable"). Most plots are around thirty years old, and are grassed and ploughed regularly to prevent soil compaction and encourage deep rooting.
In the fall, organic compost is added to enhance the soil's biological life. Committed to sustainable viticulture, Philippe and his wife Laurence limit inputs to the bare minimum so that the vines draw on the soil's natural resources which one can then relish in each cuvée.
The Philippe Fays Champagne terroir covers 4 hectares, divided into 2 finages. Each of the 7 plots has its own unique exposure, depth and soil type. These are all features that the winemaker knows how to take advantage of.
The deep soils, which are more favorable to compaction and excess water, are grassed over, thus creating a balanced patch. Soil coverage also creates an ideal environment to welcome animals indispensable to the vines. In keeping with this philosophy, we always give priority to working the soil and ploughing, thereby limiting inputs to a strict minimum.
After the harvest, when a year's hard work in the vineyards comes to an end, the work in the winery is carried out parcel by parcel, up until the blending stage, to get the best out of the terroirs.
The blending with reserve wines of 2 to 3 years for 30% allows Philippe Fays to produce 7 cuvées each with its own character and personality. Whether festive, complex, harmonious, delicate or mature... You'll find the Champagne that's just right for your taste buds!