Champagne Oudiette x Filles is an emerging story of the next generation of Champagne growers…
who play an integral part in the region’s changing landscape. Champagne is evolving dramatically. We have been following and are inspired by the work being done by progressive growers at the village level – the families who form the backbone of the region. Oudiette x Filles is the realization of a dream of third-generation vigneronne Margot Laurent with the support of her sister Charlotte and their mother, Florence. Historically, Champagne is a wine region built on the talent, resilience, and resourcefulness of women. Oudiette x Filles is a celebration of that legacy, inspired by the example of their trailblazing grandmother, Arlette.
Margot’s project is a micro-winery focused on the absolute expression of her terroir through singular vineyards, vintages, grape varieties, and wines without manipulation or additions. Margot works her vineyards intuitively, by hand, and without insecticides or herbicides. She is working towards her organic certification and is currently certified Haute Valeur Environnementale (HVE) Level 3. The farming for each of her nine plots is custom-tailored to each individual terroir and different cover crops are used in each plot to encourage soil health and biodiversity. Her philosophy is absolute respect for the personality of each plot and the resulting cuvée. She adapts her practices to the demands each vintage brings: plowing, controlled natural grassing, and plant cover. Margot waits for the optimum degree of ripeness before harvest, as she does not use chaptalization and uses the least amount of intervention possible. Like a fine tailor making bespoke garments, Margot’s cuvées are truly one-of-a-kind.
Margot took over the tiny family estate in 2015, which consists of 2.5 hectares split into nine plots of chardonnay and pinot noir…
located primarily in the Val du Petit Morin, south of Épernay near the village of Beaunay, as well as some pinot meunier plots in the Marne Valley. Beaunay is located in the northern part of the Val du Petit Morin in the Côte des Blancs, south of a small forest which separates it from the Côteaux Sud d’Épernay area. The region’s name comes from the Petit Morin river, which has its source in the Val-des-Marais commune. The Petit Morin river continues west and empties into the Marne. Soils in Beaunay are clay over a chalky subsoil, which lend to the wines a roundness and full-bodied structure, as well as a natural salinity and minerality, which produces structured, textural chardonnays and is particularly suited to pinot noir.
“In the middle of the 20th century, our grandmother Arlette, then a young widow, turned out to be a strong and ambitious woman who managed the family vineyards alone for twenty-five years. She sold her grapes to Vranken Pommery, as did our mother after her. When we reflect on the achievements of our grandmother, we are still amazed. Beyond the physical difficulty of the task, the real obstacle had to be overcoming the mentality of the time. One can hardly imagine the difficulties she had to go through in this environment where the front of the stage was largely occupied by men. Today, we celebrate our grandmother’s story with great pride. To honor her memory, we decided to produce our own wine in 2017.”
First, she had to find a way to vinify her wine because Oudiette x Filles started as growers with only vines and no winery. Margot knocked on several doors before finding the Coopérative Vinicole la Grappe d’Or in Vert-Toulon, which gave the young winemaker the opportunity to vinify her wine separately while benefiting from the latest tools, including a state of the art Coquard basket press. Beyond the workspace, she found an environment where other young growers were able to experience an exchange of knowledge between generations, sharing experiences and tools, a more ecological way of working. Furthermore, she was and continues to be inspired by the terroir work and transparency of growers like Frederick Savart and Marguet.
Harvest is by hand and grapes are taken to a state-of-the-art press house located just five minutes from her vineyards,
where they are pressed in a Coquard press with an inclined plate (the latest generation of Coquard). Only the heart, or the coeur de cuvée, of the first pressing, which contains the highest quality juice, is utilized for Oudiette x Filles. Primary fermentation occurs in 228L Burgundy oak barrels without fining, filtration, or cold stabilization. Malolactic fermentation is natural and spontaneous. Wines are naturally stabilized and aged for ten months in oak barrels. Wines are aged a minimum of 36 months in bottle, but there is no formula; each wine is allowed to reach its full potential rather than customizing it to a specific taste. Her philosophy is that each vintage is different, and she wants each of her cuvées to reflect the vintage.
After 36 months of bottle aging, cuvée Uni Terre 2017, the inaugural vintage of Oudiette x Filles, was released in June 2021. One woman, one vineyard, one grape, one cuvée to honor the legacy of her grandmother and mother. We believe that Margot Laurent will author some of the most singular, exciting Champagnes of the next generation, and we are thrilled to bring them to our customers in the US.