Located 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 the family business while also managing her family estate of Guy Larmandier with her brother. Our story and relationship starts with the next generation at Waris-Larmandier, led by eldest-son Jean-Philippe Waris, who took charge of the vineyards and winemaking in 2009 after working with Benoit Lahaye to learn biodynamic farming, among other lessons. Jean-Philippe immediately began the conversion of his families’ 9ha of old-vine vineyards in 2011, utilizing biodynamic and regenerative farming principles. The wines have been certified by Demeter since the 2016 vintage.
Today, he is joined by his architect brother, Pierre-Louis, and sister Inès, who is a designer and sculptor. The artistically-minded siblings have all recently returned to their native village of Avize, not only to contribute to the family winery but also to transform their way of life, which is organized around their artistic and agrarian sensibilities. 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 at the entrance to the quaint Avize village.
Waris-Larmandier owns prime, old-vine vineyards of Grand Cru chardonnay in the Côte des Blancs, located in the villages of Chouilly, Cramant, Avize, Oger, and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger. They also farm a smaller percentage of pinot noir and pinot meunier vineyards in the Montagne de Reims, as well as a few small plots in the Côte des Bar and Aube. Specializing in Blanc de Blancs Champagne, the Waris-Larmandier style is understated, structured, and ultra-elegant.
Their family history is a similar story to other winemaking families in small, famous wine regions; they are related to everyone. Marie-Hélène is, of course, from the famous Larmandier family, her cousins own Larmandier-Bernier in Vertus and her brother is the winemaker for their family winery Guy Larmandier; while the Gimonnets of Cuis are cousins. The late Vincent Waris’ side of the family includes his brother who produces the Waris-Huber label, also in the village of Avize where his ancestors settled from Finland five generations ago. Such is family history in Champagne.