War, Riots and Depression Could not Stop the Passion for Champagne at the House of Deutz
Aÿ, Champagne, France.
Ay is a former commune in the Marne department in northern France and it was recently merged into a new commune;
Ay – Champagne as it is famous for being the centre of the production of the bubbly we all love so much, Champagne.
Vineyards in this area are classified as 100% Grand Cru in the Champagne vineyard classification and like many of the vineyards located around the world, there is a history and a story behind the making of Champagne especially with France being the only true Champagne makers in the world.
In the village of Aÿ is one of the most magnificent Champagne houses named Deutz.
House of Deutz – the history
It was founded by William Deutz and Pierre – Hubert Geldermann, two wine merchants from Aix – La – Chapelle in 1838.
Their belief was that a vineyard would be the cornerstone to good wines and they began buying top quality plots and began their wine making journey on the slopes of the famous Ay vineyards.
With their experience, technical knowledge and knowing the markets their business expanded and they were internationally recognised way before the 20th century.
Deutz had a passion for their wine making and is founders passed on their passion for generations of both the Deutz and Geldermann families leading their successors to have continued on throughout the years with dedication and just as much passion as the founders to develop the brands character and maintain the consistency and elegance that makes their wines unique.
In 1868 the Rene Deutz and Alfred Geldermann inherited the business from their fathers and in their time Champagne became the chosen drink of the elite and Deutz took its place as one of the great Champagne houses being the founder of the “Syndicat des Grandes Marques” and in 1882 the construction of their newly designed buildings and cellars took place with a reputable reputation soaring by the end of the 19th century.
The Champagne riots of 1911 affected many of the vineyards and merchants and for more than 50 years Deutz took a financial strain just at the time where William Deutz son –in – law took over.
With the vineyards being in disarray and pickers nowhere to be found the vineyards failed to produce a vintage and after surviving riots and the Great War, the Great Depression was another downhill, which led to further financial strain.
In 1939 Deutz grandson took over and regenerated the business until his death where he became a figurehead for the brand. His son continued on but was taken prisoner during the war and even through those tough times, continued to ensure the brand remained firmly on the ground.
As they believed that quality is born from the fruit of the earth, terroir and soils were an important part of making the wines, which led the brand into buying plots in some of Champagnes best villages and they purchased plots in Cote’s des Blancs as well as having their land in Ay too. By 1955 Deutz had 35 hectares of land.
Going through the generations each member of the family that took over came in with fresh ideas and innovations that led to their success once again and on the 150th anniversary of their brand, Deutz went into partnership with a Montana wines in New Zealand with this being the only one that has had the French name Champagne lent to it.
Read more about Champagne Deutz
Today under the leadership of Fabrice Rosset, not only does the brand show passion but respect for their land with sustainable vineyards and the traditions that built an internationally recognised and carefully crafted winery.
The vineyards of Deutz use sustainable viticulture methods and during harvest time, grape pickers are meticulous and select the very best of the fruits. Each plot is treated separately and consists of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier.
Cellars of Deutz are equipped with vats that house the still wine from each identified vineyard controlling the blends. The cellar master retains only the best pressings and once this is done a gathering in the “Salon des Oiseaux” where the magic and inspiration takes place for the blends of the cuvees.
The cellars are 60 and 180 feet below the vines with some of the cuvees being reserved for more than 10 years and in here you will find the most valuable and exclusive collections.
Deutz Brut Classic consists of the 3 blends of grapes and is a golden colour with aromas of acacia flowers, confectionery, apples and brioche. This is the most classic of the Deutz cuvees and with its silky texture it reveals a balance between the freshness of Chardonnay, fruitiness of Pinot Noir and vinosity from the Pinot Meunier.
Deutz Brut Millesime is a bubbly, bright and elegant wine with aromas of fruit, flowers and an end not of spices and tobacco.
An interesting find for the connoisseur would be the exclusive collection that is stored in their cellars 180 feet below the vineyards with only 365 examples the individual bottles intertwine art with wine.
Mathusalems de Colleccion Amour de Deutz is a collection of three bottles and as it is a limited edition each bottle bears a number.
There are three bottles in the collection and each one has a separate case housing it which represents a certain family member in a historical time.
A 1999 vintage is part of the collection and underlines the exceptional quality of the Champagne enclosed in a white leather box with gold embroidery and it was in 1999 that the first vintage of Deutz Amour was made and the case signifies elegance and the bottle itself is a reminder of the tradition of champenoise.
The 2000 vintage in this collection is a tribute to the second empire when Marie Deutz the founder’s daughter designed and decorated the family home.
The case is in red and it is made like a travel case representing her love for travel and great expectations.
2002 Amour de Deutz is protected in a casket and acts as the guardian protecting the champagne and represents the sculpted cherub that became the muse of the House Deutz.
Visit Champagne Deutz
They have far more to see in their collections and with the inspiration and drive that pushed the Deutz brand through so many obstacles, it is worth a visit to explore what determination, passion and strength have created since the very beginning of the Champagne era.
Maison Champagne Deutz
Phone: +33 (0)3 26 56 94 00
Maison Champagne Deutz
16 Rue Jeanson
51160, Ay, Champagne, France
Editor-in-Chief and Wine Writer
Michael is an online enthusiast, with a lot of knowledge about online marketing. Traveling around the world to hunt for the perfect wine. Latest on Sicily, where Etna has a huge impact on the taste, which is strong with a bitter aftertaste for the youngest wines, but older wines are fantastic. Drinking wine, and writing about them, are one the passions. Remember to drink responsibly 🙂
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