CHAMPAGNE | 11 November 2021

Champagne of the
Millenium

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What should every Billecart-Salmon lover know?

We asked Antoine Roland-Billecart (Deputy General Manager) what makes Billecart--Salmon different?

  • We cultivate an estate of 100 hectares and obtain grapes from an area totalling 300 hectares across 40 crus in the Champagne region.
  • We are from the Pinot Noir section of Champagne. The Clos Saint-Hilaire cuvée was created in 1995 after an outstanding harvest. In honour of the patron saint of the church in Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, it was baptised the Clos Saint-Hilaire. No more than 3,500 to 7,500 bottles are produced each year, and each is individually numbered. It is made exclusively from Pinot Noir vinified in oak casks. At the Clos, we show traditional methods of vigneron, including growing vegetables and encouraging beehives between the vines. The terroir therefore has a strong personality, and that personality comes through in the wine.
  • In 1958 my father Jean Roland-Billecart, initiated a bit of a revolution in quality. He introduced a longer fermentation at a lower temperature and finally a cold settling as part of the vinification in tanks. This technique maintains the freshness and finesse which are characteristic of Billecart-Salmon wines.
  • In the 1970s, Jean Roland-Billecart again shook things up by working on a Champagne which was traditionally seen as second class: a Brut Rosé. The gamble paid off and the Brut Rosé non-vintage has since become the House’s flagship cuvée.
  • We have 200km of tunnels leading to the chalk cellars dating to the 17th century, where the wine is stored.
  • Our Head of House Mathieu Roland-Billecart represents the 7th generation to run the family business.
  • Our motto is "Give priority to quality, strive for excellence". The 1959 Cuvée Nicolas François Billecart was named the “Champagne of the Millennium” by a jury of experts following a blind tasting of 150 vintages from the greatest Champagne Houses organised by Richard Juhlin. The 1961 vintage came second.

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