Chardonnay, a beacon for the future of champagne, shines in Perrier-Jouët’s 2023 vins clairs

April, 2024

On March 20th, 2024, Maison Perrier-Jouët welcomed a group of European journalists to its new tasting room to introduce the vins clairs of the most recent harvest, revealing the vibrance and resilience of Chardonnay.

The tasting room, completed in January 2024, is an embodiment of Perrier-Jouët’s commitments to nature and terroir. A monumental glass column showcases the layers of the Cramant terroir – from loose topsoil to the solid chalk below – that nourishes the House’s signature Chardonnay, while travertine walls evoke the texture of corks. Designed for contemporary tastings, the room features state-of-the-art video conferencing technology to enable remote and therefore more sustainable tasting experiences. Adjustable lighting facilitates the full appreciation of the color of the wines, while an integrated carbon air filter and the absence of integrated drains or spittoons ensures a pure, scent-free environment. It is a harmonious space that reflects the importance of Chardonnay in Perrier-Jouët champagnes – past, present and future.

For over two centuries, Chardonnay has been the signature variety of the House, defining its distinct floral style. After a year of persistent humidity and extreme heat, the 2023 harvest posed complex challenges, demanding delicate management of the harvest schedule. The Chardonnay did best among the other varieties, surviving and thriving, yielding vins clairs that demonstrate a delicate florality and freshness. Year after year, even in the face of a changing climate, this grape variety proves itself a robust emblem of the Perrier-Jouët terroir, and of the future of the House’s champagnes.

In response to the changing environment, Maison Perrier-Jouët has been working to adapt its practices, experimenting with regenerative viticulture since 2021. With the goal of achieving 100% by 2030, it has already doubled the surface of the regenerative experiment this past year alone. This holistic approach considers the ecosystem of the vineyard as a whole, including the soils, the local flora and fauna, and the human factor. It also calls for adapted vinification practices and, in this spirit of evolution, Perrier-Jouët is soon unveiling its new cellar for experimentation, in which it can explore ideas like blocking malolactic fermentation in its vins clairs to preserve their acidity despite rising temperatures, or increasing the proportion of Chardonnay in its blends.

So far, this grape variety is showing extremely positive results in various trials, underscoring its triumph in our changing climate and lighting the way for a future of balance and biodiversity.

Maison Perrier-Jouët’s Chardonnay will remain at the heart of its wine philosophy as Cellar Master Séverine Frerson further encourages its expression – not only in the final blends, but also in dosage liqueurs and reserve wines. In this way, the House continues to celebrate the essence of Chardonnay, enhancing the floral aromas of its wines and accentuating their nuances.

About Maison Perrier-Jouët

Perrier-Jouët was founded in 1811 by a couple united by their love of nature and passion for art. From the start, they chose the Chardonnay grape variety as the signature of the House, defining the floral style which sets Perrier-Jouët champagnes apart. For more than two centuries, Maison Perrier-Jouët has evolved in close relationship with nature, guided by the free spirit of its founders and the exuberance of the Art Nouveau movement. Nature remains its primary source of inspiration. The Earth is a common garden, which the House cultivates as it crafts its champagnes. Fired by creative freedom, Maison Perrier-Jouët nurtures a joyful, positive vision of the world.

Severine Frerson, Chef de Cave de la Maison de champagne Perrier-Jouët
Severine Frerson, Chef de Cave de la Maison de champagne Perrier-Jouët
Belle Epoque 2015