Champagne Franck Bonville

France, Champagne
www.champagnebonville.fr

Domaine Franck Bonville has around 15 hectares of vines in 77 parcels of vines spread across three Grand Cru Côte des Blancs villages, Avize, Oger and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger.

The origins of the domaine go back to Alfred Bonville, who from around 1900 bought up parcels of land in the years following phylloxera, always within reach by horse of his home in Oger. Despite the wars he continued to invest after the birth of his son Franck, and in 1937 they bought a house in Avize complete with press and barrel cellar. From the end of the war, Franck began to sell Champagnes under his own name.

Franck's son Gilles and his wife Ingrid continued the work, replacing the old casks with stainless steel for a more precise vinification. Their son Olivier trained as an oenologist and joined the domaine in 1996 after working in Germany and Corsica. Olivier has focused his attention on sustainable viticulture and purity of expression, so that the wines offer 'the aromatic complexity and elegance of Chardonnay', as well as 'the authenticity of the Cote des Blancs terroir and the minerality of the chalky sub-soil'. All the wines go through malolactic fermentation, and apart from the barrel-aged Belles-Voyes cuvée, all are made in stainless steel.

Now joined by his son-in-law, Ferdinand Ruelle-Dudel, Olivier is free to concentrate on the vineyards and wine-making, and this estate, which has been on an upward quality trajectory for some years, looks set to become one of the reference points of the Côte des Blancs.