Geoffroy is Champagne grower (vigneron) based in the village of Ay I had the pleasure and privilege of visiting while touring the Champagne region of France.
Here is in short the story of me pushing their gate, their story, and reviews of their wines.
Wine Reviews, Tasting Notes, and Related Posts:
The roots of the Geoffroy family date back to the 17th century.
Up to only relatively recently, the Geoffroys were based in the village of Cumières in the heart of the Vallée de la Marne.
At the beginning of the 1950s Roger Geoffroy and his wife Julienne decided to producing their own sparkling wine, rather than selling fruit to other wineries. The first family brand was therefore called Roger Geoffroy.
Roger Geoffroy died suddenly and at a young age. His son René succeeded to his father and acquired new vines. With his wife Bernadette, the René Geoffroy brand developed.
At the end of the 1980s, Jean-Baptiste joined the family estate and started working with his father and his father’s cousin Pierrot.
In 2008, Jean-Baptiste and his wife Karine who needed further space for their Champagne production acquired a 19th century property including the facilities of an abandoned cooperative winery in the village of Ay.
They relocated there the Champagne Geoffroy winery, leaving the Cumières village that had hosted their family for centuries.
But the Geoffroy’s vineyards are still located in the area around Cumières.
Vineyards & Grape Varieties
Geoffroy’s vineyards cover an area of approx. 14 hectares (35 acres) over the slopes of Damery, Hautvillers, Fleury-la-Rivière and especially Cumières.
Cumières is a small village of the Champagne region classified as ‘premier cru’, nestled between the river Marne and slopes exposed to the southeast.
Winery, Cellar & Winemaking
In the new winery in Ay, Champagne Geoffroy use gravity to naturally transfer the juice from the traditional basket press to the fermentation tanks.
Jean-Baptiste Geoffroy puts a strong emphasis on respecting the fruit and into revealing the pure expression of his terroir into his Champagne wines.
All batches are vinified in small lots, generally in tank. Some top vintage cuvées are fermented in large oak barrels, none of them new.
Blends are determined by tasting according to Jean-Baptiste Geoffroy’s personal taste which gives their cuvées an affirmed personality.
Bottles are aged in deep chalk cellars for 3 to 8 years depending on the vintage and the cuvée.
Proof of Jean-Baptiste attention to details and his care for his wines, for disgorging Geoffroy doesn’t simply run his automated disgorging machines on standard programs like most Champagne wineries do nowadays.
He first hires a traditional ‘remueur’ (a professional that turns the bottles by hand to bring the natural yeast sediment into the neck of the bottles) to optimize the times between each remuage, for each wine. Then this manual process is reproduced on a case by case basis by programming the automated machines.
The final ‘house-touch’ that takes place in the cellar is the “dosage” addition of sugar after disgorging.
At Geoffroy’s, each disgorgement gets an customized level of added sugar or dosage.
Generally, the further the wine has aged on its lees, the rounder it is in the bottle, and the less sugar it takes during the dosage to balance it out.
This is the philosophy adopted at Champagne Goeffroy. For the same cuvée, the amount of added sugar might be slightly different depending on when it was disgorged.
Here each bottle’s back label bears the disgorgement date so you know exactly what you’re buying and how long ago the wine was prepared for your enjoyment.
See as examples the back label images of a couple cuvees below, and observe the date de degorgement mention:
Don’t think the earlier the disgorgement date the better though.
As I’ve learned visiting Champagne and many of its producers, some Champagne wines age very well and devellop a great complexity after disgorgement.
It’s simply always much better to know more precisely what you’re buying however, havgin the disgorgement date precisely mentionned on the back labels.