Elise Dechannes, a rising star in Les Riceys

by Chiara Giovoni 11/18/16
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Elise Dechannes, astro nascente a Les Riceys

The demand for Pinot Noir from the area Aube in Champagne has benefitted Les Riceys, a village with three Renaissance church and 866 hectares of vineyards, making it the town with the most vineyards in all Champagne. Here many Maisons – including Bruno Paillard, Veuve Cliquot and Boizel – have found particular grapes for their assemblage that are distinguished by their fullness and structure as well as a distinct finesse. Les Riceys is among other things also the only village to host three regional appellations (AOC): Champagne, Coteaux and Rosé Riceys, the latter having been the favorite of the Sun King Louis XIV and considered one of France’s best rosé wines. The merit for this is the quality of the Pinot Noir from the steepest and sun-filled slopes of an area defined as terres humide due to the abundant rainfall, humidity and characteristics of the soil.


Among Les Riceya’s 288 vigneron is Elise Dechannes who has a small 4.80-hectare estate and a lovely story to tell. After earning a degree in economics and initially embarking in a career in banking, Elise decided to return to Aube to take charge of her family’s vineyards. These in part have a Kimmeridgian soil with marine fossils, with limestone marl situated just 50km from Chablis, and in part a colluvial-alluvial one. Elise’s vineyards are divided into seven parcels that have different exposures and soil compositions and which she cultivates using biodynamic methods and a horse. But most important is that each parcel is vinified separately. Her Blanc de Noirs Tradition was one of the best novelties tasted at the Catwalk Champagne event during the Merano Wine Festival organized by Helmuth Kocher. And in Aube it was truly a wonderful discovery.

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