A UNIQUE STORY
OF A MAN IN LOVE
WITH CHAMPAGNE

 

Bruno Paillard was born in Reims in 1953. His lineage of brokers and growers in the two Grands Crus villages of Bouzy and Verzenay dates back to 1704. Following in the family’s footsteps, he started working as a broker in 1975, acquiring a deep and extensive knowledge of Champagne. But after six years, he had an overwhelming desire to create a different Champagne: one that would go beyond what existed in terms of purity and elegance.

He was 27 years old and didn’t have a penny to his name, let alone a vineyard. In January 1981, armed with nothing but his sense of determination, Bruno Paillard sold his old Jaguar, a collector’s item, to fuel his dream and start his company.

This might have seemed like a moment of madness in a region that had not seen a new house in nearly a century, and which was characterised by a conservative attitude.

However, this young champagne pioneer was determined to achieve his dream.

Bruno Paillard started producing his champagnes in a rented cellar using carefully selected grapes from independent growers.

In 1984, he invented the first totally “above-ground” cellar. This brand new design allowed him to strictly regulate the temperature, lighting and humidity.

And soon, the very personal style of his wines begins to seduce. BRUNO PAILLARD Champagnes are first recognised by the English Press as some of the best wines of the region. In 1988, the famous critic Hugh Johnson defined the house as “A small but prestigious young champagne house with excellent silky vintages and non vintage!”

In 1990, Bruno Paillard drew the current winery with architect Jacques Bléhaut: a state of the art structure with stainless steel, glass and wood symbolizing the three noble vessels of Champagne.
Revolutionary, this new cellar combines the traditional know how with the newest qualitative techniques.

 In 1994, Bruno Paillard bought his first vineyard: Three grand cru hectares in Oger in the Côte des Blancs.

From this point on, he patiently began to build up his remarkable vineyard that now covers 32 hectares, including 12 grands crus that provide more than half of all the grapes that the house needs. The remainder are still purchased from the same independent growers, from more than 30 different villages, who have been Paillard’s partners for many years now.

In January 2007 his daughter, Alice Paillard, decided to join and continue the BP family adventure. Having worked in the vineyards and then in the cellar for the first year, this was followed by four years dedicated to developing exports. Alice now co-manages the Maison with her father.

Today the Maison BRUNO PAILLARD – still independent and resolutely faithful to its style – export 75% of this wines through 30 different countries – mostly to Europe, Asia and Northern America.

Wherever they are represented, the Champagnes of BRUNO PAILLARD are exclusively sold through restaurants and fine wine stores. This selective distribution is a guarantee of quality for the client thanks to the good care of sommeliers and fine wine merchants for each bottle.

SLOW AND SUSTAINABLE
VITICULTURE

The respect of this inimitable terroir is a guiding principle for the Maison. It requires both rigour and a delicate touch.

This means:
• A special focus on ploughing, encouraging the development of root systems to extract the chalky minerality.
• Short pruning, which helps the roots of the plants to grow continually, directing nutrients to the roots rather than the leaves.
• Paying increasing attention to soil microbiology and the biodiversity of our plots.

The vineyard team, led by Mathieu Pingret, applies a sustainable viticultural approach, according to the high expectations of the BRUNO PAILLARD Champagnes: no herbicides or pesticides are used; ploughing; partial grassing; regular analysis and specific approaches to each plots, and certified organic fertilizers only.

The effervescence has to be delicate. The bubbles are very tiny, almost microscopic, yet they are what release the wine’s aromas and give it a smooth and creamy texture on the palate and extremely persistent.

The colour has to be completely natural. It is bright: green gold for Blanc de Blancs, golden for Première Cuvée and copper for Rosé. The colour of the vintages becomes deeper, and almost amber after several decades.

The aromas have to be extremely pure: nuances of citrus fruits and almonds from Chardonnay; red fruits from Pinot Noir; and exotic fruits from Pinot Meunier. By using only the first pressing of the grapes, we ensure that the purest aromas are extracted.

Complexity must not be confused with heaviness; Rather, it is more about elegance. The balance and the depth of the wines are what gives them their purity. Complexity only reveals itself to those who take time to discover, emerging as the wines age.

The aromas have to be extremely pure: nuances of citrus fruits and almonds from Chardonnay; red fruits from Pinot Noir; and exotic fruits from Pinot Meunier. By using only the first pressing of the grapes, we ensure that the purest aromas are extracted.

The freshness has to be perceptible but not overwhelming. It is enhanced by the acidity of the wine, yet the wine is not acidic in taste. Only a minimum of extra sugar is added (“dosage”) to enhance this remarkable freshness.

Bruno Paillard truly is a unique and superb Champagne House

 

By Adam Rogers

Marketing & Social Media Executive

Alken Brothers Wine Merchants

Mobile: +353 86 0886807

Email: arogers@alkenbrothers.ie