Since taking over his family’s 12ha estate in 2006, Alexandre Chartogne has emerged as one of Champagne’s brightest rising stars.

The village of Merfy, northwest of Reims, is distinctive for its sand and clay soils, and while it has been renowned for its wines since the Middle Ages, it’s been largely ignored of late. Chartogne is the sole contemporary champion of this forgotten terroir, and his viticulture aims to express these soils with clarity and precision. He uses organic treatments, promotes biodiversity through cover crops, and encourages deep-root systems through regular ploughing, often by horse rather than by tractor. In the cellar, each parcel is vinified separately with indigenous yeasts, in either oak barrels, stainless-steel tanks or concrete eggs, depending on the individual wine. Chartogne-Taillet’s non-vintage brut, called Sainte-Anne, serves as a fine introduction to both the estate and the village, while his series of single-vineyard Champagnes from sites such as Les Barres, Orizeaux and Heurtebise explore Merfy’s terroirs in greater detail.