The Charpentier’s have been winemakers since 1920, when Pierre Charpentier began growing grapes. Before Champagne was glamorous, winemakers in the Champagne region essentially sold the grapes they produced to negotiators or to a local clientele if the economy was challenging. Pierre also produced red wine, but often the barrels used to store this wine were more valuable than the wine itself!
It was Pierre’s son, Marcellin, who first produced Charpentier Champagne in 1954. Four years later, Marcellin died suddenly and his wife, Solange, was left to run the business while rearing three children. While no doubt a difficult time for Solange, her son Jacky began making wine at the age of 11, showing prodigious ability.
Over the next few years, through hard work, diligence and passion, Jacky Charpentier managed to save and, indeed improve, the family business, achieving the recognition and respect that is now associated with the J Charpentier label.
Jacky’s son Jean-Marc now runs the winemaking at Charpentier. With 38 plots of vineyards and three different varieties of grapes grown, there is a lot to be discovered among the Charpentier range. The grapes from different plots are pressed separately so as Champagne can be made to represent each terroir, not just grape varieties or blends.
“There is seductive champagne throughout the Charpentier range produced in the Marne Valley. Of the three supplied for our tasting, this was the best. Complex and classy.” Ernie Whalley, The Sunday Times
“Fragrant nose, musk and wild flower, biscuits and almonds; long finish, slightly herbal. Huge charm and plenty of character.” CB, The Sunday Times
"Beware of cheap supermarket champagnes, churned out by co-ops in container loads! Better to sample the wares of small growers, producing limited quantities with pride. Most French wine buffs have their favourites: il faut demander! Here's a pleasant example, combining crispness with nice echoes of French apple tart." Mary Dowey, Food and Wine
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