Champagne De Sloovere-Pienne
The Pienne family has been making wine for 5 generations and living in the region for even longer. Current winemaker Emeline De Sloovere-Pienne grew up farming and making wine on the same farm house in Brugny where the entire family still resides, the farm itself dates back to the 12th century. It was built to serve a large Medieval castle that stood about 5km away. The farm housed tools, weapons and food and were tunnels dug between the two so that the farm could be accessed safely. The farm land expanded in the 14th, 16th and 18th centuries, at the time it was used mostly for grain and cows before being converted to grapes in the 1880’s. During World War 1 parts of the farm was used as a military hospital.
Emeline took over winemaking from her grandfather, Alain Pienne, in 2015. Prior to taking the helm she was traveling and making wines in the ‘new world’ to hone her craft and see how things were done elsewhere. She brings this knowledge and innovation back with her where she has introduced many of the things she has learned to this historic estate. She has introduced small wooden barrels to be able to ferment each terroir separately, inoculation is done with indigenous yeasts and there is never any cold stabilization or filtration. In the vineyard there have been no herbicides, pesticides or non organic sprays since 2016. She has also begun using cover crops and no longer sprays for botrytis. It is a true family run winery, Emeline’s sister, mother and father all work with her at the estate.
Planted alongside the grapevines, the farm features an organic garden used for the biodiversity and to supply the restaurant on property that opened in July of 2020. Currently the studies in permaculture focus on the garden but will hopefully someday also inform grape growing. Trees, flowers and birdhouses are also intermixed to create a more suitable growing environment and more are being added yearly.
Empreinte, a 100% Meunier zero dosage champagne, was Emeline’s first new cuvée. Originally set to be a one-off it has become a staple of the lineup. Current innovations and experimentations are always pushing the estate forward, while Cuvées named after her Grandfathers Ange and Eugène root the winemaking firmly in the family history. Champagne De Sloovere-Pienne is a young, energetic, female run house that is poised to make great champagne for a long time to come.