Aurélien Laherte, in touch with his land

May 7, 2021 • 2 mins
Brand & Content manager

We are in Chavot-Courcourt on the southern slopes of Epernay (between the Côte des Blancs and the Vallée de la Marne) visiting Champagne Laherte Frères.

We are here to meet Aurélien Laherte, who joined the family business in 2005. He represents the 7th generation at the domaine’s helm, working plots of vines that have been in his family since the 19th century.

Speaking of plots, let's have a look at the one that was the reason for this meeting in the first place: the plot with 7 grape varieties. Only a few winegrowers grow the forgotten grape varieties and Aurélien is one of them.  

The Petit Meslier has an important place in Aurélien Laherte's vineyards. A favourite grape variety, Aurélien has planted a plot entirely with Petit Meslier, and others will follow. He intends to create pure, fresh and unctuous wines. Eventually, Aurélien wants 10% of his vineyards to be planted with Petit Meslier... so watch this space (and watch out for a Petit Meslier single varietal wine that is coming out this summer).

Aurélien Laherte places great importance on the location of his vineyards and the development of the terroir. He makes each plot his own, following his instincts. He manages the vines according to the principle of biodynamics but also takes a pragmatic approach when he has to. Respect for the earth and its living organisms is what drives him. Aurélien therefore takes an approach that seeks to make the most of "both worlds".

And this approach is reflected in his vat room and the winemaking processes he employs.

Wood is very important here, allowing a fine mastery of the sensations created in the end wine. 80% of the domaine's wines are fermented and aged in wood. Barrels, foudres and truncated-cone vats allow Aurélien to vinify the grapes separately to preserve and bring out the personalities of each "lieu-dit" and to enable each wine to develop its full potential. His guiding principle has always been to allow the terroir to come through in the wines.

Aurélien even talks of having a "terroir vat room". The stones, the wood... each element has an influence and endow his facilities with a special soul and charm.

Aurélien seeks to combine modern and traditional winemaking methods in order to craft the type of wines that reflect his own character: wholesome, honest and genuine.