The Rodez family has been making wine for nine generations, beginning as far back as 1757. The estate of Champagne Rodez is located in the Grand Cru that is Ambonnay, the heart of Pinot Noir country, and spans an area of 6.12 hectares. The property consists of 35 parcels of vines, and the grape varietals planted are 62% Pinot Noir and 38% Chardonnay. The vineyards are planted at a fairly high altitude (about 130 meters), and are situated on a clay-limestone soil, two factors which are ideal for growing Pinot Noir.
Eric Rodez, current vineyard manager and head oenologist for the estate, has worn many hats in his day. Not only was he at one time the Mayor of Ambonnay, but he was also formerly an oenologist at Krug where he developed his winemaking/blending methods that would later be employed on his own estate. Eric, along with his wife Martine and son Mickael, manages all aspects of the winemaking process at Champagne Rodez.
It was while traveling in Alsace and other wine growing regions that Eric gained an appreciation for organic and biodynamic vineyard practices. It is through these methods that he believes the resulting wine truly expresses the characteristics of the terroir. Eric hesitates to use the word organic, because he is not certified, but as a grower he uses no pesticides, fertilizers, or synthetic sprays on his plants. In 2012, Champagne Rodez was the first French agricultural domaine to receive the Haute Valeur Environmentale certificate for their efforts towards organic and biodynamic farming and water management on the estate. In the vineyard, Eric plows his soils and limits his yields through careful pruning. Vinification is done in either oak barrels or enameled steel vats. The annual production of the estate is about 45,000 bottles.
Eric Rodez Empreinte De Terroir Pinot:
"The single grape variety of Empreinte de Terroir seeks only to emphasize the characteristics of the vineyard terroir, across the vineyards, and waltzing across the vintages. For some vintages, the comparison of varieties bring an extra dimension."
Grape Varieties: 100% Pinot Noir
Origin of the Grapes: Terroir d’Ambonnay contrées: Les Gennettes, Les Beurys, La Goisse, Les Bouités
Average Age of the Vines: 42 years old
Vinification: In 100% oak barrels; no malolactic fermentation, no cold stabilization, no filtration.
Dosage: 3 grams