Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, Champagne, France
A family-guarded icon with incomparable style
As one of the most iconic Champagne houses, Billecart Salmon needs little, if any, introductions. But many won’t know that it is one of the few historical maisons to remain truly independent and family-owned: the seventh generation of the founding family is now at the helm of the estate and is still the guardian of the house’s uncompromising quality. Having just celebrated 200 years of history Billecart Salmon is a hallmark of elegance and finesse, expressed in each of its renowned cuvées.
In 1818, Nicolas François Billecart and Elisabeth Salmon got married and decided to found a champagne maison headquartered in their house in Mareuil-sur-Aÿ. Nicolas business savviness along with the oenological expertise of Louis Billecart (Elisabeth’s brother) would be the winning partnership that set the standards that are still followed today. Now a world-renowned brand, Billecart Salmon has not left the hands of the founding family. The house’s successive leaders have built upon each other’s work, refining, over 200 years, the house’s trademark style and iconic cuvées. Their guiding motto remains the same:
“Give priority to quality, strive for excellence.”
Having started exclusively as a négociant, Billecart Salmon has since acquired some of its most prized crus. Among them is the Clos Saint Hillaire, planted exclusively with Pinot Noir, worked fully by hand and using work horses and sheep. The Clos Saint-Hilaire cuvée, created in 1995, is one of the many iconic wines of Billecart’s range. The most recognisable of Billecart Salmon’s labels is however the Brut Rosé; the standard for rosé champagne since its creation it is an exquisite pour, particularly loved by chefs and sommeliers for its richness and food pairing potential.
The house now owns 100 ha and sources fruit from a total 300 ha, all managed under strict sustainability parameters. Mathieu Roland-Billecart, seventh-generation at the helm of the estate, has led the consolidation of the house’s sustainability focus as well as the construction of the beautiful new chai with large oak barrels. The quest for elegance, structure and complexity continues two centuries on.
Location: Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, Champagne, France
Working with us since: 2020
Total area under vine: 100 ha owned (total 300 ha under management and from which fruit is sourced)
Viticultural standards: ‘Viticulture Durable en Champagne’ and ‘Haute Valeur Environnementale’ certifications.
Interesting fact: In 1999, the 1959 vintage of Cuvée Nicolas François Billecart was considered the “Champagne of the Millennium” by a committee of experts at a blind tasting session of 150 vintages from the most illustrious champagne producers, organised in Stockholm by Richard Juhlin. The 1961 vintage came second, ahead of such heavy-weight competitors as Gosset, Dom Pérignon, Pol Roger or Krug.