Shortly after the 2018 harvest, Christian moved into a cellar on rue Jeanson in Aÿ,
just opposite his friend Jean-Baptiste Geoffroy. At the beginning of 2020 his first vintages were ready for release: two blends from Grand Cru vineyards (Brut and Rosé) and four single-vineyard lieux dits Champagnes, the terroir expressions he had always dreamed of making. All of his estate-vineyards are planted to pinot noir and are classified as Grand Cru, farmed without herbicides, pesticides, fungicides or other chemicals and are certified HVE – Haute Valeur Environnementale Level 3. Following his personal philosophy that great Champagne starts with exceptional fruit, Christian is pragmatic in his approach in the vineyard. Drawing from his deep understanding of his terroir, he encourages a healthy biodiversity in the vineyard as a means to soil health and regeneration.
His pinot noir vines have a high average age (45+ years) and are naturally low-yielding, giving very concentrated grapes with great character and identity.
His vineyards are in prime locations in the middle of the Aÿ terroir, on the tops of the hills with southwestern exposure. It is a succession of small valleys, with different altitudes, different slopes, different soils and therefore a great diversity of terroirs in a very small area. One of his favorite parcels is called Loiselu, a lieu-dit planted in 1963. Christian maintains that one of the most desirable characteristics of the terroir is its complexity and intensity.
Vineyards in Aÿ are predominantly south-facing, and mostly planted to pinot noir. Although inclination varies by plot, the hills behind the village are the steepest. Aÿ is often the source of the most powerful pinot noir-based wines of Champagne, as they are at a lower altitude than those of Bouzy and Ambonnay.