Founded in 1776, the Mouzon-Leroux domaine has been passed down from generation to generation. But when Sébastien Mouzon took over, he became worried about the hold that agrochemical companies have on winemakers. It led him to discover biodynamics, convert their vineyards, and seek a natural path in the cellar, too.
"I realised how the capitalist world of agrochemicals works. When you buy chemicals for vineyards, you’re directly supporting those giant companies like Bayer, Monsanto and Syngenta. You’re contributing to this catastrophic market. I couldn’t do that with a clean conscience. It was that will to stop supporting that economy–an economy which is not viable in the long term; not for human beings and not for nature."
People: Sébastien Mouzon
Place: Montagne de Reims, Champagne
Varieties: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Arbane and Petit Meslier
Wines: Click here
Did You Know? They are one of very few wineries in Champagne that keeps trees planted in the vineyards amongst the vines; to promote biodiversity and to uphold and respect nature’s own patterns. They also grow vegetables and other crops throughout the vines, such as sunflowers and tomatoes. In addition, chickens and sheep wander the vines throughout the winter period, fertilising the soils naturally with their manure.
Marvelling at nature blooming in its newfound non-chemical environment made Sébastien want to explore natural methods in the cellar, too.
So, he ditched the packet lab-cultured yeasts of the past, and instead decided to work with the natural yeasts of the vineyards. However, he realised that it could take a long time for some of the wines to start fermenting in a barrel environment, which meant the wines could become a bit too oxidative for what he was looking for. He discovered the pied de cuve method, and adapted it to his own wines and vineyards.