OUR CHAMPAGNE HOUSE

The House was founded in 1974 by Pascal Simart and has developped its activities progressively. we exploit today 4,70 hectares of vineyards of which 4 Ha in Grand Cru and 0,70 hectare in 1er Cru (1 hectare equals 2,4 acres)

3,60 hectares of vineyards are planted with Chardonnay in the village of both Chouilly and Cramant in the Côte des Blancs and 1.10 hectares with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier in the villages of Ay, Avenay Val-d'Or and Hautvillers.


OUR PHILOSOPHY

Simart-Moreau Champagne House, is a family run house who knows how to ally and adapt traditional methods with modern ones. You can find us in Chouilly, the village of our ancestors, located in the 'Côte des Blancs', part of the elite Crus of Champagne.

VIDEO PRESENTATION


HISTORY OF THE SIMART-MOREAU CHAMPAGNE

In 1974, Pascal Simart began to stock 4.000 bottles of Champagne from his very first harvest.

His marriage with a young lady Moreau in 1976 led to the creation of the brand "Simart-Moreau", and the first bottles were to reach the market only the following year in 1977.

The couple ancestors come from Chouilly and they are both stemming from a third generation of vine-growers from this village.

The fourth generation is well into place with their son Jean-Philippe. Today's annual bottling amount to 30.000.

We are still grower-producers (Récoltant-Manipulant) and we are only allowed to commercialize the fruit from our own harvest.

We managed to develop our Champagne activities when we got the opportunity to buy a vineyard from Aÿ (also a Grand Cru Village). This gave us the chance to widen our Champagne range.


Since the end of 1999, we are able to produce an assemblage Champagne (Grand Cru) and a single grape-variety Champagne (Grand Cru) from Chouilly made from Chardonnay only.

Our assemblage Champagne 'Brut Selection' (Grand Cru) remains in the cellars for a period of three years before being put on the market.

The Brut Vintage Champagne, Grand Cru, made from Chardonnay only, will age 5 to 7 years in our cellars before being commercialized under the name 'Cuvée des Crayères', when nature will have given its upmost.

The work in the vineyard is a little like gardening on a large scale:

You have rain, sun and micro-organisms present in the sub-soil. You are working like a nurseryman when it comes to pruning, trellising, protecting the vineyard from diseases, practicing environmentally friendly viticulture. Harvesting remains an entirely manual process, selecting only whole, undamaged clusters.

Our Champagne House has now one permanent versatile employee who works in the vineyard, in the cellar and also in the dispatching dept. our son Jean-philippe has just taken the management of the house, and Pascal is always present for the cuvee discover and their ageing progress. In any case, the seasonal work load In the vineyard.

Madame Simart, works as a teacher, but she always gives her valuable opinion on both the blending before bottling, and on the final tasting.


Pascal Simart oversees the whole organization. He is responsible for the vinification, the blending, and outside services contracts made with winemakers advisers who help in the vinification process. He supervises the various firms which come with their sophisticated equipment for optimizing refrigeration usage for cold stabilization of wine and to further improve filtering. The disgorgement is made in-house by an outside firm too.

We welcome our customers at this address but we can ship out our Champagne for you anywhere you like.


TRADITION AND MODERNITY

To make a good Champagne, you must have good base wines which you obtain from the best grapes. It seems obvious, but you must be able to control all the steps of the wine making process. This is the reason why we can't get away from our vineyards in the Summer. You must regulate the rate of vine-growth and make sure to do the tipping, pinching-back, topping and leaf thinning.

Between 15th July and 15 August, we must aerate the grapes and sometimes remove some to allow a better qualitu for the other. We call this step :"the Green Harvest".

Harvesting in Champagne remains an entirely manual process. We need 15 to 16 pickers for a period of 8 to 10 days for the picking of our grapes. An experienced picker can harvest 400 to 800 kg of grapes per day, depending on the weight of the grapes.


The pressing of our Champagne grapes is made in a press house used by several grower producers for a better organization of the harvest, but of course, everyone makes sure he is getting back the juice of his own grapes.

We are using a traditional vertical press with fixed press-pan. The 'retrousse', an operation to return the edges of the press-cake towards the central part of the press, is done manually with a fork.

Today juice extraction is strictly limited by law to 25.5 hectoliters per 4000kg press-load of grapes (known as marc). The traditional vertical press is regarded as the reference in Champagne.

The principle behind Champagne pressing is to apply just enough pressure to rupture the intermediate juice zone of the berry. The ideal starting pressure is 50g/cm², (equivalent to squeezing a grape gently between your thumb and forefinger) stepping up the pressure gradually, from 100g/cm² to 200g/cm² all the way to 1kg/cm².

The juice will then ferment in small volume inox vats for 18 months.

Now we have to keep one harvest in vats : it's our high quality reserve.

Inox bring us a low process ageing.

Up to this point the tradition is well respected, but you must make sure that the wine is going to evolve in the best of ways, it is so fragile.

We are going to be helped by new technics – the principle being known by our grandparents, when they opened their cellar doors during wintertime for the cold to stabilize the wine. Stabilization is a vital step in producing a quality wine. Cold stabilization merely involves chilling wine to -4°c during a few hours. This causes tartaric acid to crystallize out. Filtration will follow and our wine will be ready for the blend if required.

The bottling will be done twenty months after the harvest at the rate of 4000 to 5000 bottles an hour.

As we are using mechanical riddling technics and automated disgorgement 15 to 60 months after bottling, we have to wait a minimum of 36 months after the harvest before selling our Champagne.