The festive season is fast approaching and if there’s one thing to start it off with a bang, it’s a good bottle of bubbly. With champagne on our minds, we caught up with Michel Davesne, Chef de Cave at Champagne Deutz.
How did you start out in the wine business and why?
My parents were farmers and wine growers; I’ve always been interested in wine and the world of wine. My first job was a 2 month, then a 6 month contract with the CIVC during which, among other things, I carried out experiments on different wine presses.
Which of your wines are you most likely to be found drinking at home?
My favourite wines are Champagnes, Bordeaux and Burgundies (mainly white).
If you could work in any other winemaking regions, which would it be and why?
I would also have liked to work in Burgundy to produce the great Burgundy white wines.
What green practices do you follow in the vineyards and winery?
In the winery, we do everything we can to reduce our environmental footprint as much as we can: raising employees’ awareness of the need to reduce water consumption, starting malolactic fermentation immediately after alcoholic fermentation to reduce the heating of the wines, reduction in bottle weight, sorting and recycling of packaging, etc.
Is winemaking an art or science?
I don’t know if winemaking is an art, but producing a high-quality wine requires sound scientific knowledge and a very good olfactory and tasting memory. And it’s a profession that you have to be passionate about.
Which is the most challenging wine to make? Why?
The Brut Classic for two reasons: it is the wine in the range that is produced in the largest volume. Its quality must be consistent every year despite the variances in the base wines (associated with different weather conditions each year). At the end of the day, a Champagne House is judged by the quality and consistency of its non-vintage Brut champagne.