Julien Chopin is a family operation that was founded in 1947 by Julien Chopin himself. Currently, Emmanual Chopin is at the helm - a 6th generation grape grower and 3rd generation champagne producer.
Their vineyards sit a short way south of Epernay, across 7 hectares from the Coteaux Sud d’Epernay to the Côte des Blancs. Within that spread, Julien Chopin has vineyards in 6 seperate villages: Monthelon, Grauves, Cuis, Mancy, Moussy and Chouilly. The vines themselves average around 20 years old.
Why is age important? Great question, glad you asked.
Vine age and what constitutes an ‘Old Vine’ is a debated topic in the world of wine. As a general rule, most vines won’t produce wine-worthy fruit until their 3rd - 6th year of growth. Then the vines mature, producing grapes with more depth, concentration and complexity. Then after around 30 years growth, vines start to slow down (we get it). What is classed as an ‘old vine’ is unregulated and differs from vineyard to vineyard and producer to producer. Something to bear in mind when perusing wine labels.
At 20 years old, Julien Chopin’s vines are in their prime. See what bold flavours you can pick out.
Like all our grower partners, Julien Chopin are very passionate about champagne. They particularly love to educate anyone who visits their vineyards through their ‘playful workshops’ and even offer the opportunity to adopt your own vine and watch it grow.
Our favourite part, however, has to be the on-site Escape Room game. Yes you read that right. A champagne themed, detective escape room. Grab your spyglass, Sherlock. If you have the good fortune to visit Julien Chopin we highly recommend taking the time to play along and uncover Julien Chopin’s secret recipe for the best champagne ever.
This month, Justine from Julien Chopin gave us some insider knowledge on champagne and some great pairing advice...
Which part of the champagne making process do you find is most important and rewarding?
The most important part of the champagne process is the blending because it’s during this step that we create our cuvées. It’s the time of creativity.
What does Julien Chopin do differently from all other champagne producers?
We produce ratafia champenois!
It’s a sort of liquor; fresh grape juice mixed with a strong alcohol. We age it in oak barrels for a minimum of 3 years. The outcome is a fruity drink at 17.5% abv. You can pair it with food or use it in cocktails.
What is your top tip for drinking champagne?
We prefer to drink champagne with a meal as we work a lot on food pairing.
The Blanc de Noirs you have works with white meat : chicken, pork or veal and the Carte Verte with a meat pie.
What is your favourite champagne?
Emmanuel [Chopin] prefers low dosage champagne because you can taste the aromas better and it’s easier to pair with food.
What else do you like to drink besides champagne?
Emmanuel likes wines from Chablis, Meursault et Pouilly-Fuissé.