Christophe Mignon

Represented by Christophe Mignon

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Christophe Mignon is the fifth generation of his family to grow vines in the Vallée de la Marne, and the family has been making wine for a long time as well—in fact, Mignon's great-grandmother once won a medal for her red wine from Le Breuil.

Today, Mignon farms a little more than six hectares of vines, divided almost equally between the villages of Festigny and Le Breuil. He has 30 parcels in all, lying largely on clay and limestone soils, and despite being located on the left bank of the Marne River, 90 percent of his vineyard land faces south, offering a high degree of ripeness. As expected for this terroir, meunier represents the majority of Mignon's plantings, accounting for no less than 90 percent of his vineyard area, while the remainder is equally split between chardonnay and pinot noir.

Mignon is deeply committed to viticulture, believing that the quality of his viticulture directly correlates with the quality of his wines. The vast majority of his work falls under what might be termed "natural", yet like several other dedicated viticulturists in Champagne, such as Anselme Selosse and Pascal Agrapart, Mignon refuses to adhere to any standardized systems. "I am not organic," he says. "I am not certified, nor do I want to be. I admire those who are, and it works for them, but it's not my philosophy." By the same token, he refuses to call himself biodynamic, even though he relies heavily on many of its practices: "Biodynamics has done a lot for the health of my vines," he says. "It's very useful, but I think there is still more." The farthest that he will go in defining his system of viticulture is, simply: "I do what I say and I say what I do."

Mignon's champagnes certainly reflect an emphasis on viticulture, showing a rich, ripe depth of fruit as well as a pronounced and complex mineral signature. As befits the soils in this area, the wines are more earthy and stony than overtly chalky, yet this doesn't make them any less terroir-expressive, and a hallmark of Christophe Mignon's champagnes is their intense articulation of place.

Information courtesy of Peter Liem's ChampagneGuide.net ©