Bruno Paillard vineyards cover 32 hectares including 12 hectares of “Grands Crus”. It provides half of the house’s needs of grapes. The remaining half are today still purchased to the same independent growers families since the early 80’s. This remarkable supply over 35 different terroirs within the heart of Champagne provides the house with a rich palette of grapes necessary to elaborate the best blends.
The grapes are crushed in the closest press house to the vineyard and the must is transported to the cuverie (winery) in Reims where 96 from tiny to larger stainless steel tanks and 400 barrels await. Only the juice from the first pressing is used. In the cuverie, the must is divided between tanks or barrels respecting their origins, grape varieties and even particular parcels. Alcoholic fermentation occurs in open tanks, except for some specific vineyards that are vinified in small oak barrels.
Then, the malolactic transformation is allowed to happen naturally.
In fact, the acidity level of Bruno Paillard Champagnes is higher on average than others as only the first pressing is kept, as we use a high proportion of chardonnay and grapes from the best growths. The malolactic transformation enables a natural reduction of this acidity and to create pure, elegant and unaltered wines. It also avoids the use of violent techniques to mask acidity like micro filtration, over sulphuring or a “heavy dosage” during disgorgement.
After the fermentation in tanks, the wines declared “vins clairs”. They are still wines. Besides the characteristics of their grapes varieties, each one of these wines holds the personality of a vineyard or an individual parcel of the Champagne Area. This is the scale on witch Bruno Paillard plays and orchestrate each cuvée.
Between January and Easter, the main activity is the preparation of the blends. Bruno Paillard regularly tastes the 250 Vins Clairs born from the first fermentation. After many tastings, they select the wines that will compose each Cuvée of the Bruno Paillard Champagnes. Bruno Paillard Multi Vintage (MV) Champagnes: Brut Première Cuvée, Brut Rosé Première Cuvée and Blanc de Blancs Résèrve Privée Grand Cru must counterbalance the vintage and keep a consistent style; The Champagne Climate being specially fickle from one year toanother, the secret of style consistency lies in the “Reserved Wines”.
For MV Champagnes, the blend includes 20 to 50% of reserve wines depending on the needs of the year. Those Reserved Wines are kept in tanks and small oak barrels. They are wines already blended from the year before (themselves including 20 to 50% of ReservedWines from the previous year… etc and dating back to 1985!)
On the other hand, Bruno Paillard Vintage Champagnes express the quintessence of one specific year. Bruno Paillard elaborates a different blend for each vintage, concentrating on the personality of each harvest any specific vintage could create a “Blanc de Noirs” (PinotNoir only), or a “Blanc de Blancs” (Chardonnay only), or a “Assemblage Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.”