We are on the hills above the village of Cormicy, which is located on the massif de Saint-Thierry, the northernmost part of the Champagne region.
We created a small vineyard in 2009 consisting of a 3 hectare plot of vines which we decided to dedicate to organic, biodynamic winemaking. By 2009 half of our vineyards were already certified and since 2011, we have converted our entire production.
Our vineyard is spread over half of the massif de Saint-Thierry where we are now, and the other half is located in the Marne valley where we have all our Pinot Meunier vines.
Here, we are on the Rachais plot, which we consider as one of our jewels. This vine is 50 years old and we used it for our first year of biodynamic tests on the plot. After 3 to 4 years of biodynamic farming on this land, from an organoleptic point of view, we found our wines to be so much more expressive and with more character, so we decided to convert the entire vineyard.
It was thanks to the work carried out on this plot that we decided to produce organically, certified wine under controlled conditions.
At harvest time, the grape musts are placed in barrels for alcoholic fermentation and malolactic fermentation, with stirring of the lees carried out every 12 days.
As Delphine said, we have several types of barrels: Burgundy, Bordeaux, half hogsheads and casks.
At the moment, we have one cask which enables us to stock a third of our Petraea base. This is a perpetual wine base to which we add, each year, 25% of the new harvest for the next year’s production. We can only store a third of our wines in casks. We stock it in casks because there is much less oxidation than in the Bordeaux or Burgundy barrels whose staves are much thinner.
Our current project is to buy a cask to increase the storage capacity for our perpetual Petraea reserve.
This is why we need your help for this project that we are so keen on achieving and that we hope will lead to an improvement in our wines.
Thanks in advance!
Delphine & Francis Boulard
A propos du Domaine
The champagne house Raymond Boulard & Fils was founded in 1980. After the death of their father, his three children continued running the family estate together. Francis Boulard, while still continuing with the vinification, became ever increasingly interested in viticulture. Wanting to move towards vines that were grown as naturally as possible, he pushed the estate towards organic methods, resulting in the conversion in the 2000s of a proportion of the vineyards towards organic agriculture.
In 2009, Raymond Boulard's three children decided to follow their own professional paths. The Raymond Boulard Champagne House ceased to exist therefore. Francis Boulard, his wife Jeanne and daughter Delphine started the house called Champagne Francis Boulard & Fille.
For many years, Francis Boulard pushed the Raymond Boulard family estate towards organic methods; hence it is that some of their parcels were already converted and certified to be organic. With his daughter Delphine, he can now take this movement towards the most natural champagne wines possible to its logical conclusion. Their goal is to see the whole estate certified organic.
Francis Boulard and his daughter Delphine belong to a family of winegrowing winemakers for 6 generations... doubtless more. The oldest member of the family who could be traced was born during the French Revolution in 1792.
Francis Boulard's first contact with wines came about thanks to his grandfather, Julian: at 14, the young Francis was given permission to hold the handles of the plough behind Bijou the horse, a sturdy Ardennes horse. His grandfather was in fact one of the last to resist the galloping mechanisation which followed the end of WW II, still using a horse to plough his 2 hectares (5 acres) of vines.
Julien Boulard sold his still wines to champagne houses. It was his son, Raymond Boulard who decided to vinify and bottle champagne in 1952. In the 70s, the young Francis joined the company Boulard Frères and very soon afterwards (1975) was made responsible for vinification.
Describe your project goal
French Futaie and Haute Futaie oak
Oak from sustainably managed and PEFC-certified forests
Regular wood-grain texture and controlled maturing
The outer slabs and the heart of the trunk are removed during machining to avoid any deformation.
The staves are machined one by one according to traditional methods of master coopers.
Assembly of traps and hatches "sandwich-style" with no screws or bolts
Non-curved base and no support bars
Slowly ‘toasted’ throughout on an oak fire, the staves are gradually shaped.
Slight charring of the cask shell affects the tannins, revealing the noble and subtle aroma of the wine.
After sanding, the shell and barrel heads are protected with an edible micro porous varnish that lets the micro-oxygenation process take place.
25 hectoliter round cask