Champagne (Aÿ)


Since the marriage of Nicolas Le Cacheur and Francoise Remy in 1696, three centuries have seen the famous Grand Cru vineyards of Aÿ passed through twelve generations of winegrowers.  Since 1980, husband and wife, Pierre and Marie Paule Cheval-Gatinois have run the winery with the same attention to detail as did their ancestors.  Their goal is to make what Champagne holds as most prestigious: the prized Grand Cru wines from Aÿ.

“A small producer with a high reputation, owner Pierre Cheval can trace back his family line to Nicolas le Cacheur, a vigneron in Aÿ in 1696.  Like many growers today, Gatinois sells part of this production to various houses, but increasingly makes more of his own Champagne.”  “Christie’s World Encyclopedia of Champagne and Sparkling Wines” By Tom Stevenson

Gatinois has long had the reputation as being one of the top growers / producers in Aÿ, a Grand Cru village located in the Montagne de Reims.  Gatinois sits on 7.3 hectares of vines divided into 30 lieudits (named vineyard sites), with an average size of 26 acres.  The names of each of these parcels sign the history and authenticity of the sites:  Chaufour, Cheuzelle, la Croix Coucelles, le Han, Valnon, Vauregnier, Chatillon, Bonotte, etc.

All of the Gatinois holdings are Grand Cru, with 90% planted to Pinot Noir.  Among the Pinot Noir parcels is the now-rare, low-yielding Petit Pinot d’Aÿ clone on which Aÿ‘s reputation was built centuries ago.  The remaining vines are planted to Chardonnay, famous for its complexity and balance.