Twelve miles West of Epernay on the D3 towards Chateau-Thierry, in the tiny hamlet of Le-Mesnil-le-Huttier, is the home of Christophe Mignon.
Christophe farms 6.3 hectares of vines, planted 90% Pinot Meunier and 5% each of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, spread among 30 parcels between Festigny and Le Breuil in the Marne river valley.
This area, just to the South of the river Marne and alongside its tributary the Flagot, is known principally for the quality of the wine made from the Pinot Meunier grape variety, which is particularly well suited to the clay and chalk soils to be found here.
Christophe uses his grapes to make his champagne, cultivating his vines with great skill and what he describes as ‘alternative’ methods, using biodynamic preparations and working in chime with the Lunar Calendar, which he has done ever since we first met him, 20 years ago. However, he refuses to comply with the diktats of certification, instead ploughing his own furrow towards respect for nature, sustainability and healthy, mature harvests.
Christophe is a member of ‘Les Artisans du Champagne’.