Situated in Avize, in the heart of the Côte des Blancs, Waris-Larmandier Champagne was founded in 1989 by 5th generation grower, Marie-Hélène Larmandier, and her husband, Vincent Waris. Following Vincent's passing, Marie-Hélène continued with the business while also managing her family estate of Guy Larmandier. The newest generation at the domaine is lead by eldest-son Jean-Philippe Waris, who took charge of the vineyards and winemaking in 2009. He immediately began the conversion to organic and biodynamic farming practices in all of the family’s 7ha of vineyards. Today, he is joined by his brother, architect Pierre-Louis and sister Inès, who is a designer. Together, with their mother, they form the racines de trois or “three roots” of Waris-Larmandier; each contributing a unique piece to the artistic vision of this young, dynamic Champagne domaine. Inès designed the distinctive floral labels in tribute to her mother’s famous flower boxes, which beautifully adorn their whitewashed family home in the vineyards.
The Waris-Larmandier holdings are primarily old-vine Grand Cru Chardonnay from the Côte des Blancs in the villages of Chouilly, Cramant, Avize, Oger, and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger. They also farm vineyards of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier in the Montagne de Reims, Côte des Bars in the Aube and Aÿ Grand Cru in the Grande Vallée de la Marne. Specialising in Blanc de Blancs Champagne, the Waris-Larmandier style is understated, structured and ultra-elegant.
Jean-Philippe is a passionate evangelist of biodynamic farming methods and absolute respect for each terroir, with an ultimate focus on site-specific Champagne. In addition to his efforts at Waris-Larmandier, he also owns a consulting company to help other vineyard managers convert to biodynamic agriculture. Jean-Philippe's quest for excellence has led him to experiment with lesser-known historic grape varieties, extended periods of aging, utilizing local barrels from Avize as well as separating single-vineyard parcels.
The next chapter of the Waris-Larmandier estate lies in their exploration of Grand Cru villages through limited releases of old-vine lieux-dits Champagnes, featuring vineyards planted in 1895, 1903 and a special parcel planted by Jean Waris in 1939 near the winery called Porte de Bas. With all three siblings now living and working in the village of Avize, each is contributing to the future vision of the project, which includes transforming their holdings to polyculture with a biodynamic vegetable garden, among many others. The future of Champagne is indeed bright in the Waris-Larmandier family.