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The Terroir of la Côte de Sézanne with Champagne Dekeyne & Fils

Situated just a stone's throw from Bethon, Champagne Dekeyne & Fils resides in the heart of the Sézannais, a sub-region nestled in the southern reaches of the Côte des Blancs. Gaël and Baptiste Dekeyne represent the fourth generation stewarding the 5 hectares of exquisite vineyards at La Voglonière, where they craft single-plot cuvées. Their commitment to biodynamic principles has earned them recognition as some of Champagne's most promising young talents. Here, they offer insights into the factors driving the popularity of their wines and unveil the mysteries of the Côte de Sézanne's terroir.

Join us as we delve into the world of one of Champagne's rising stars.


Gaël (left) & Baptiste (right) with their trophy of Jeunes Talents du Champagne 2020


 

Do you remember your first glass of champagne?

Gaël: I don't! In our region it's tradition to taste it young, and the first contact with champagne was at birth. When the baby is born, we put some drops of champagne behind the ears. I think it was my first contact !



 

How did you start working in the family business?


Gaël : After 6 years in the French Army, I decided to change my life and to go back to the family vineyard.


Baptiste : After working in agricultural mechanics, the atmosphere, the place, the stress of having to work in a hurry didn't suit me, especially knowing that the most beautiful of offices (nature) was holding out its arms to us. So I decided to come back to blossom in the vineyards.




 

Bethon and its neighboring villages are renowned for their luscious Chardonnay. Could you shed light on the terroir of your vineyards and its impact on your wines?


Gaël : The chalky soil is ideal for Chardonnay imparting minerality and delightful buttery notes reminiscent of toasted bread and butter. Additionally the clay gives aromas of white flowers! Such an awesome combination! And the maturity is different because we are on the south-west of

Champagne.

Baptiste: Terroir is often mentioned, but it has no real influence on the wine unless and only

if the plot is cultivated biodynamically and with minimal intervention in in the soil. This is key for the vines to express their terroir. So we do our maximum to ensure that our wines are as natural as possible, each with their own unique expressions.


 

The proposed expansion of the Champagne appellation around the Sézanne area includes two communes situated just kilometers from Bethon: Péas and Saint-Loup. Can you tell us about the proposed expansion of the AOC and your thoughts?


Gaël : I don't think it is a good idea. It's not the surface area or hectares that matter. I believe the AOC should focus on the quality and not of the quantity. More surface area does not mean better quality. We have to focus on green ways to produce wines as natural as possible without pesticides and to boost organic production to be the best nature-friendly sparkling in the world.=


Baptiste : The AOC should focus on quality, stop using pesticides and herbicides, and reduce production to improve quality, produce better wines and certainly win over consumers, some of whom are very disappointed with Champagne.




 


What are your first impressions on the wines of 2023?


Gaël : It was a year of contrast between sun and rain, so atypical! But, during the first tasting it showed a lot of flavours ! It was the first one certified both Organic and Demeter and it really feels different ! The wine is more complex with tea flavours and a lot of exotic aromas. Amazing!


Baptiste : Every year our wines evolve and this year, thanks to biodynamics, the aromas are exploding, becoming more and more expressive, and 2023 is going to be exceptional, like all the years to come...



 


What can we expect from Champagne Dekeyne & Fils in the future?


Gaël : As recognised farmer-researchers, we wish to have new ideas to prove that we can produce as natural as possible, and to engage all that we know to make the biodynamic wines better and better. Perhaps exploring new protocols to harness cosmic forces and create wines imbued with unparalleled energy and sensation! In any case, we wish everyone who drinks a glass of our champagne has a lot of pleasure !


Baptiste : We're constantly striving to improve the quality of our wines, and that means improving the way we work the vines. We've come a long way, but we're still far from the ideal. The aim is to create an ecosystem, to have a polyculture that allows us to have a healthier environment. The animals, the trees, the insects, the predators, biodiversity in general, will all come back in the near future, and the vineyard will just have to take advantage and give us the best, we'll just have to accompany it to give you the best.



 

Follow Gaël and Baptiste on their champagne journey here;





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Gold Animate cork (1).jpg
Gold Animate cork (1).jpg