Etienne Calsac

Champagne / France

At A Glance

Winemaker(s)

Etienne Calsac

Appellation

Champagne (Côte des Blancs)

Varieties

Chardonnay

Their Story

“Like the earth, wine is a living product. Plowing the soil and planting cover crops are the techniques that allow the terroir to best express itself. The roots of the vines descend deeply into the earth to search for the elements that give the grapes their unique character.” — Etienne Calsac

Champagne Etienne Calsac is approximately 3 hectares of vines spread across three villages, two in the Côte des Blancs (Avize and Grauves), and one in the Grande Vallée de la Marne (Bisseuil). In 2010, Etienne began producing his own champagnes as he took over his family’s estate. For multiple generations Etienne’s family rented their vineyards to large négociant houses. At only 26 years of age, Etienne decided it was time to make a change, to build his own winemaking facility, and fulfill his ambition to express his family’s years of vineyard work by creating true terroir driven champagnes.

Mid Post Image
0.16 hectare Clos des Maladries was planted by Etienne's grandfather and sits behind his grandparents' home in Avize.

Etienne owns and farms 1.5 hectares of chardonnay in the 1er cru village of Bisseuil in the Grande Vallée de la Marne.  These vines lie in one south-east facing, chalk dominated and sunny lieu-dit named Les Rocheforts. In Grauves, he owns 1.17 hectares of vines. 1 hectare of his vines lie in the clay dominated soils of the lieu-dit Les Martinières. Les Martinières is a beautiful, cool, and late ripening parcel planted by his grandfather. The vines range from 30 to 50 years in age and face northwest. Finally and most impressive is their 0.16 hectare monopole Clos des Maladries located in the Grand Cru village of Avize. A true clos, the parcel is seperated from other vines in the village by a stone wall enclosure, and is so small that the vines are worked by horse as a tractor can not fit through the entrance. The clos was planted by his grandfather in the 1970s and sits in his grandparents’ backyard.

“My family has owned vines for a long time, but we haven’t made wine since my grandfather retired. Therefore I had to recreate a domaine.” — Etienne Calsac

In the vineyard Etienne works following organic principles. In the cellar Etienne vinifies each parcel separately  in order to highlight the differences between the crus before blending them together as he sees fit. Champagne Etienne Calsac are terroir-expressive champagnes focused on highlighting chardonnay’s elegance and purity.

Interview with Etienne Calsac of Champagne Etienne Calsac

Where were you born and raised? I was born and raised in Champagne. I grew up in Reims where my parents lived and I went very often to see my grandparents in Avize If you could briefly describe your approach in the vineyard what would it be? My approach is “terroir.” Each parcel is vinified separately, all of my soils are worked. The soils are living and are a reflection of the wines. They must be respected. What excites you most about your vineyards? I find it fascinating that the vines are a vector of a product that always accompanies moments of pleasure. Making wine is a true achievement. I often have happy thoughts for my bottles when they leave the domaine, I always wonder who will drink them and under what circumstances, etc. If you could say one thing to the sommeliers who are introducing people to your wines for the first time, what would it be? That this is a terroir driven Champagne, authentically made by a passionate Champenois. Winemaker/Grower Champagne are rare products. What is your favorite type of music? I like many kinds of music. If you could have any superhero power, what would you choose? I would like my cells to regenerate faster during celebrations [drinking parties]! Visit Etienne Calsac Website