Champagne Ullens is the rarest of stories in Champagne - a new domaine with no roots in the region. Belgian-born architect Maxime Ullens arrived in 2012, when he and his wife Anna purchased Domaine de Marzilly, at the northern-most tip of the Montagne de Reims. Their intention was only to renovate the abandoned farmhouse and barn. But as the work progressed, Maxime befriended a number of growers and began tasting regularly in the area. Before he knew it, he was enrolled at the viticultural school at Avize and studying production.
The purchase of Domaine de Marzilly included a small parcel of ungrafted rootstock, spared by phylloxera due to the extremely sandy soils. In addition to this slim, rugged parcel, Maxime and Anna have managed to purchase or lease an additional two hectares on the eastern and southern edges of the Montagne de Reims known as ‘La Petite Montagne.’ They supplement their production with purchased fruit, making four hectares worth of wine split between about 80% Pinot Meunier and 20% Chardonnay.
Their vineyards are farmed according to strict organic principles and Maxime is committed to releasing wines only when they have had sufficient aging time, generally twelve months in barrel and another thirty-six in bottle before disgorgement. Maxime has commissioned all his barrels to be made from oak from the domaine’s own forest and is experimenting with not only different toast levels but barrels combining multiple materials, including clay, glass and steel. The final results are deeply vinous and serious Champagnes that have quickly become staples of Michelin-starred restaurants across France.
- Producer: Champagne Ullens
- Vendor: Champagne Ullens
- Varietals: Meunier
- Country: France
- Region: Champagne
- Sub Region: Reims