Champagne Bonville, a jewel in the Côte des Blancs
The Franck Bonville house was created in 1926 but its first bottles were not sold until 20 years later. Its estate is spread over Cramant, Avize and Oger. 20 hectares classified as Grand Cru. The typicality of the house is the brioche taste of its champagnes. This is due to the exceptional terroir they have, to its exploitation in the respect of nature and to a careful vinification. The cuvée Les Belles Voyes, a Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru, vinified in barrels, offers a smoky nose and brioche aromas. An excellent table champagne to discover.
Simplicity, authenticity and rigour are the credo of this family of winegrowers who work with respect for tradition, and never stop investing to maintain their quality standards. Olivier Bonville is a lace maker without any fancy tricks. "We are extremely lucky to be on an exceptional terroir. We have to let it express itself by choosing the perfect sanitary state at all stages of the wine making process", he explains.
A trained oenologist, in 1996 he took over the reins of the family business created at the beginning of the 20th century by his great-grandfather, Alfred Bonville, a winegrower for the Veuve Clicquot Champagne House. Built up with patience and few resources at the beginning, it now has 15 hectares, all located in the prestigious Côte des Blancs. "I rely on this terroir to reveal the typicality of our wines. It is made of minerality, finesse and complexity", comments the winemaker.
Each generation has brought its own touch to the development of the estate and the production of the wines of the House, which took off in 1930 with the acquisition of new plots of land and then, in 1936, of buildings located in the heart of the village to start pressing and vinifying independently. This period coincides with the arrival, alongside the founder, of Franck Bonville, Olivier's grandfather. "He marketed his first bottles after the war. He was passionate about the vineyard and never stopped investing to expand the family estate. From 3 hectares at the end of the Second World War, the vineyard grew to almost 9 hectares in the 1970s.
Gilles and Ingrid, Olivier's parents, continued to invest in Champagne, modernised the production facilities and diversified into the Bordeaux region.
They also worked to develop the private clientele, especially in France, but also in Germany and in some other neighbouring countries.
Olivier Bonville took over from his parents after having worked alongside them for almost 5 years.
Since 2000, the house has been making wine in oak barrels from an 80 year old parcel called "Les belles Voyes", from the old French "la belle voie": a small road linking the village of Oger to that of Mesnil-sur-Oger. This non-vintage cuvée is elaborated with the contribution of 6 years old Burgundy barrels for the oldest.
In total, Champagne Franck Bonville sells 150,000 bottles per year, 80,000 of which are exported, traditionally in Europe. But new markets are developing in California, Canada, Japan and also in Norway, Sweden and Australia.
The company was selected in November 2010 for the Nobel Prize dinner in Stockholm and is regularly rewarded in the numerous national and international competitions in which it participates.
Click there for discovering the Terroir of the House.