What makes the know-how of the Lafalise-Froissart Champagne so precious is their understanding of the role of the soils on their wines. Paul studied the geology of the region and what role it brought to his work. He understood that the soils, the vines and the wines are three indissoluble factors in the equation of Champagne aromas. To decipher a vintage, you have to know how to read between the rows of the vineyards. To enter into the Lafalise-Froissart circle of trust therefore requires a rite of passage: to learn the specificities of the Grand Crus of Verzenay and Verzy.
40 PLOTS, 40 PERSONALITIES
The Lafalise-Froissart vineyard is located on a variety of soils and subsoils. Each geological layer brings its own characteristic to the vines and the grapes. The winemaker’s mission is to maintain this relationship, to preserve it. Paul’s thirst for learning led him to experiment differently with the land, with a view to sustain and respect the balance.
It all started with Paul’s encounter with his vines at a young age. As a child, he spent many hours in the vineyard with the family. He has an emotional bond with these plots that saw him grow and become what he is today.
The great strength of the region is Pinot Noir. The soils give it a scent, aroma and style that are unique in the world. It is also highly prized by the great Champagne houses to develop their finest vintages. Conscious of how lucky he is to be able to work such a grape variety on such beautiful soils, Paul is determined to serve it as best is possible in his viticultural and wine-making practices. This very expressive variety represents 80% of the Lafalise-Froissart Champagne vineyard.
The geological influence is also felt on the Chardonnay, which are more rounded than elsewhere in Champagne. They are said to “pinot”: their aromatic and visual properties have subtle points in common with Pinot Noir and tend towards being surprisingly fruity. The composition of the soil brings a touch of fullness , even exoticism, while retaining the freshness and finesse typical of Chardonnay.
The microclimate of the two villages are very complementary. They are inexhaustible sources of inspiration for the production of wines. The vines require special attention, and it is where Paul takes care to distill all his meticulousness and benevolence.
THE PLOTS, the fields of expression
In Verzenay as in Verzy, the generations of winemakers pass but the history remains. They are places where each generation expresses the mastery of their knowledge. Paul forged his identity as a winemaker by working on this heritage, one which lives in him and that is present in his mind daily. The plots are demanding but generous. In his vision of a job well done, prevention is better than cure.
In terms of vine care, he prefers the natural, sustainable and earth-friendly techniques, hence the vineyards have existed a lmost five years without weed killer. Grassing the rows of vines provides life for the soil and the organisms it contains. Paul practices superficial plowing to renew the vegetal carpet, oxygenate the earth and continue the regeneration. The vines emerge stronger, and its soils are rich. He refuses to take anything away from them and deals with everything the vines put forward to [CH7] him.
It has been several years since he became aware of the necessity to preserve his land from chemical interventions, an expertise that comes from previous experiences. Along with his desire to bequeath a healthy, natural heritage to his children, for Paul, this vision is instinctive: you have to think long terms to preserve the vines.