Nicolas Maillart

When Nicolas, ninth-generation Maillart, took the helm of the family Estate in 2003, he continued an almost 300-year-old family tradition of vine-growing in the Montagne de Reims. Founded in 1753, the current Estate is based in the Premier Cru village of Écueil, and Nicolas cultivates prized fruit from the well-established terroirs his ancestors selected, with vines exclusively in the Premier and Grand Cru villages of the Montagne de Reims.

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In keeping with the region’s typicity, vineyard holdings comprise 75% Pinot noir with the balance attributed to Chardonnay, Meunier and Petit Meslier. The average age of vines is over 30 years, and two-thirds are planted by sélection massale (the traditional practice of vineyard propagation with exceptional old vines to promote genetic diversity). A rarity in Champagne—and indeed the world—Nicolas also vinifies Pinot noir from ungrafted vines originating from a single Écueil parcel that has sandy soil—excellent in prohibiting phylloxera’s parasitic attack—resulting in Franc de pied, an incredibly unique and complex vintage champagne that shows great similarity to pre-phylloxera varieties.

The House is certified HVES (High Environmental Value and Sustainable), preferring to employ organic methods and biodynamic treatments with an emphasis on biodiversity. Since 2009, the family has further reduced their carbon footprint with the construction of 130 square metres of photovoltaic solar panels.

With great confidence and expertise, Nicolas continues to champion the House’s philosophy of expressing the full potential of Champagne terroir in their cuvées. Gentle and slow vinification, low dosage and the avoidance of malolactic fermentation ensures this, as well as a commitment to producing vintage champagnes only in the best years. Under Nicolas’s guidance, Pinot noir expresses power and structure, while Chardonnay exudes finesse and elegance, with all cuvées displaying the utmost balance, minerality and vinosity.