A visit to Champagne Jacquinot & Fils
12th July 2017
Champagne Jacquinot & Fils is an estate with a history dating back to the French Revolution, located just off the Avenue de Champagne in Epernay, it holds 17 hectares of vines which 7 it uses for wine producing and 10 hectares of grapes is sent to Moet et Chandon.
I took a fascinating tour of their cellars which hold 250,000 bottles and many fine and rare vintages to include magnums from the 1950’s and four bottles from 1949. As Jean-Manuel took me around we explored many areas of ageing wines to include what they have stored and prepared Blanc de Blancs vintage for 2019 for the anniversary celebrations of the special date of 1929 when Pierre Jacquinot set up his own pressing centre and started to make wine.
One thing to note with the cellars are the steps, 106 in total and one of the longest stairs in Champagne second only to Pommery who have 116 (though smaller steps) and longer than Veuve Clicquot who have 103 which I have also walked down a few times! You feel the drop in temperature as you descend in to the mostly chalk walled cellars and you are amazed at the volume of bottles stored. Though riddling is no longer a process adopted at Jacquinot & Fils, there are still many racks holding Champagne and every so often a dusty collection of bottles can be seen in a dark corner that are rare older vintages.
“Avenue de Champagne is the richest in the world thanks to the stocks of Champagne we hold!”
Their wines are very expressive, my tasting notes show toasty, vanilla and caramel for the vintage and the likes of strawberry, raspberry and orchid fruits for their rosé. “My grandfather was a violin player and it is why we use in our company logo the treble clef and we have wines with names such as Symphonie.”
What makes Jacquinot & Fils special?
“Tradition of our house is the long lees ageing.” stated Jean-Manuel who is the current CEO of the company and wine maker (1998 was his first wine making year). “To further increase the quality of our wines we make sure we pay those who work for us per hour and not per kilo, I think this is important to mention as people then will take their time to help us produce quality over quantity.”
“Also important is the blend only of chardonnay and pinot noir in our wines. No pinot meunier. We are a boutique winery so our long lees ageing allows us to get the best Champagne and highest quality possible. We sell in to boutique wine importers and sellers and we work with local people in their regions across the world who know their markets well.”
Co-founder of Glass of Bubbly. Journalist and author focused on Champagne & Sparkling Wines and pairing them with foods.