Champagne Monmarthe, in the heart of Ludes
Hello Grappers Community,
This week the editors have been bending over backwards once again to bring you the top ‘Champagne movers and shakers’ out there. We headed off to Ludes for a friendly chat with Gauthier Monmarthe. With his broad American quarterback shoulders, French charm and expressive eyes, it’s impossible not to like this talented 6’4 winemaker. Here are five reasons why…
#1 – He knows what he wants
When his classmates at school were dreaming of growing up to be lawyers, astronauts and doctors, he already knew that he wanted to be a winemaker.
“Since as young as five I loved watching my father going up and down the vine rows on his blue Bobard tractor. One day he sat me down on his knee and explained to me what his job entailed. Despite the great pressure that went with the 300 years of history that I was to perpetuate, I was ready for the challenge thanks to all the love and support I have around me. Taking over the reins of a Domaine that has been built up over 6 generations, and to bring my own vision to it, really is an incredible adventure to embark upon.”
#2 – He’s a family man
Gauthier grew up in a loving, close-knit family and was taught the importance of respecting others. You just need to take a look at their home life to see this. The importance of sharing, close relationships and humanity have always been central to the Monmarthe ethos. In opening up the doors of his home to us, the young winemaker tells us what this symbolises for him.
“It shows that we are open to the world, open to the future and open-minded in every sense of the word. My parents always taught me that if we respect other people’s needs then they will respect our own in return. 70 years ago, one of our customers served Champagne Monmarthe at his wedding. Then recently he baptised his granddaughter with our wine. I think that’s beautiful. I love how wine brings families and people together and strengthens the bond between us”.
You know us, we don’t miss much, so we asked him what the pattern on the background of his website represents. “It represents our family connections: those who are present and those who are absent, past generations and future generations, the 6 generations who were here before me. They have each, in their own way, contributed to the history of the Domaine” he replies.
#3 – He takes pride in his terroir
After living in Angers and Bordeaux when he was a student, Ludes is now the place he calls home. “We own 17 hectares of Premier Cru vines in the heart of the Montagne de Reims on the hillsides of the Champagne natural park. Our 22 HVE certified plots are planted with the appellation’s 3 traditional varietals and we currently offer 9 different champagnes including blended wines as well as terroir wines’.
The Champagne House will be showcasing the Ludes terroir with the release of a new trilogy gift set in January 2022 composed of 3 lieux-dits: the Blanc de Noirs ‘Les Grimpants’, the 2015 Blanc de Blancs ‘Le Mont-Joyeux’, and the Extra-Brut 2014 Vintage ‘Le Nid d’Agace’.
Since 2015, Gauthier has also owned Champagne Doré, a 4-hectare wine domaine that boasts a 0.55-hectare walled vineyard. The champagne produced from this small plot is the Clos A.Doré, an Extra-Brut Blanc de Blancs single vineyard selection wine that has spent 10 long years in the cellars. It is something of a rarity as only 1,920 bottles have been produced…
#4 – He embodies the value of sharing in its purest form
“I’m passionate about fine wine and I love organising big get-togethers with my friends so that I can share this passion with them. Long discussions, sharing, laughing and creating strong bonds is something that I really enjoy. Speaking of which, I think it’s time for a glass of something!”.
As we all sit back comfortably on the sofa in their living room, we get to know the other 3 members of the Monmarthe clan: Sandrine, Jean-Guy and Justine, Gauthier’s little sister. They each took it in turns to give us a taste of their favourite champagne explaining to us what it means to them.
#5 – Much more than wine
Gauthier began by suggesting we taste his ‘Secret de Famille’, the secrets of which have been passed down through 6 generations of the Monmarthe family. It is a wine for family gatherings, romantic dinners, Sunday lunches and precious moments with our loved ones.
Then it was Jean-Guy’s turn to offer us the ‘Privilège’ which he describes as an ode to life. This champagne is a celebration of being alive, the passing of time and our greatest accomplishments. The signing of a contract, getting a new project off the ground, the fulfilment of a childhood dream, success stories and all the little things that make us proud. Anything that ignites the flame within us, lifts us and gives us direction.
Sandrine then offered us her ‘Coup de Cœur’. This champagne is an invitation to celebrate the special moments in our lives, happy emotions and enriching encounters, i.e., everything that strikes a chord with us and invites us to take time out in our hectic schedules to appreciate the simple pleasures.
The bubbly and charismatic Justine then brought this moment of sharing to a close with her ‘Rose de Ludes’. A champagne for those who enjoy the simplicity of relaxing, going with the flow and enjoying the company of our loved ones. This wine is well suited to relaxed and informal gatherings, spontaneous get-togethers, the sound of laughter, the beauty of femininity, sunny terraces and snowy landscapes.
It goes without saying that we in the editorial office are captivated by the family’s life philosophy and approach to happiness. So cheers to that!
Behind the cover
A mantra that strikes a chord with you?
“To be happy with what we have whilst working towards what we want”.
What makes you proud?
“I’m proud to be an independent winemaker. From cultivation right through to export, I’m in full control of every stage of the process and everything is carried out here, in the same place. It’s a luxury.”
Is your sister, the Champagne House’s youngest ‘cornerstone’, anything like you?
“I’m deeply attached to my home terroir whereas Justine prefers to travel the world. Paris, London, New York, she’s a city girl at heart and can’t get enough of travelling. We’re very different but at the same time we complement each other. There will always be a place for here at the Domaine if ever she wishes to join me.’
What do you do when you’re not being a winemaker?
“I try to find a healthy balance between my work life and personal life. I enjoy kicking a ball around and I’m a big supporter of OM (Marseille football club). The streets and people of Marseille have this incredible energy about them.”
Your wildest dream?
“I’m sorry to disappoint you but I actually dream of the simple things in life. I wish to lead the same life as my father and grandfather. They married the love of their life and achieved fulfilment through their craft.”