Champagne Ruppert-Leroy

Emmanuel and Bénédicte Leroy

Bénédicte Leroy’s parents moved to Essoyes in 1975 and started a small farm on a clearing above the town where they raised sheep. In the 1980s, it was no longer economically viable, and they learned they could plant grapes on the land that they had been renting for the sheep to graze. Little by little, they planted four hectares in Essoyes and Noé-les-Mallets, not including the garden and small pasture they kept for their own animals. All of the grapes were sold to the local cooperative.
In 2009, when her father was about to retire, Bénédicte took over the domaine along with her husband Manu Leroy, under the condition that they could farm organically and make their own wines. Using his background in ecological construction, Manu built a straw bale winery on the family property, followed by a log-cabin home. In addition to the vineyards, Bénédicte and Manu run a small farm complete with horses, cows, sheep, and chickens, and they grow their own grains. They embrace all of the biodynamic principles, creating their own compost and preparations, and have become an integral part of the biodynamic movement in France. 
Their quest for the simplest winemaking has lead them toward the spirit of ‘vin nature’. Each cuvée comes from a single vintage of a single vineyard, bottled ‘brut nature’ with no dosage. Since the 2013 vintage, no sulfur is used at the winery. 
The domaine works according the following principles: Use of lightweight tractors to avoid compacting the soil. Spreading of compost and cow-horn manure from their own farm to encourage a complex microbial life in the soil. Use of cow-horn silica, infusions, and plant decoctions to support the balance of the vines and their natural defense system. Braiding of the upper vine shoots to avoid topping off the vines in order to avoid the stress to the plant. Debudding to reduce yields. Careful hand harvesting of ripe grapes which are sorted in the vineyard.
The constant research for a practice that respects the life around them leads the domaine to produce natural wines. In order to express their terroirs, they produce a single-vineyard cuvée each vintage from each parcel. All cuvées are made in the same process: vinification with natural yeast from their grapes, without any fining, filtering, or liqueur. The cold settling occurs naturally with the winter frosts. Alcoholic fermentation and élevage on fine lees in barrel and demi-muids for 9 months. Natural malolactic fermentation, and then wines are aged on the lees in bottle for 18-20 months.

Key information

Champagne

Essoyes

4 hectares

Founded in 1980s

Organic certified since 2013, Biodynamic certified since 2014 (Demeter, Biodyvin)

The wines

Champagne Les Cognaux

Sparkling Wine
 : Pinot Noir
Ruppert Leroy - Les Cognaux

Planted 100% to Pinot Noir, 'Les Cognaux' is located at the top of the hill with south/southeastern exposure. The word 'Cognaux' is an old local word that means 'little corner,' as in a nice little corner of the world to grow grapes. In additio...

Champagne 1er jour de vendanges

Sparkling Wine
 : Pinot Noir

‘1er Jour de Vendanges" means ‘1st day of harvest’. This micro-cuvée is produced from Pinot Noir picked on the first day of harvest each year. The still wine is aged in a single clay dolia and produces less than 1,000 bottles per vintage. A dolia...

Champagne 11, 12, 13…

Sparkling Wine
 : 50% Pinot Noir, 50% Chardonnay
Ruppert Leroy-111213 (1)

'11, 12, 13...' is the only NV cuvée from Ruppert-Leroy. This cuvée comes from a perpetual reserve that includes wine from every parcel of the domaine dating back to 2011, plus organically-grown grapes purchased from friends in the Aube. The domina...

Champagne Fosse-Grely

Sparkling Wine
 : 80% Pinot Noir, 20% Chardonnay
Ruppert Leroy - Fosse Grely (1)

'Fosse-Grely' is a sélection massale planting of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay at the bottom of the hill in Essoyes. Fosse means ditch, and Grely is an old local word that means gravel. 'Fosse-Grely' is the largest parcel at the domaine and the first o...

Champagne Papillon

Sparkling Wine
 : Pinot Noir
Ruppert Leroy - Papillon

'Papillon' is a sélection massale planting of Pinot Noir that is an extension of the 'Fosse-Grely' vineyard. 'Papillon' means butterfly, and this Pinot Noir is the richest and most powerful wine from the range. In addition to their vineyards, R...

Champagne Martin Fontaine

Sparkling Wine
 : Chardonnay
Ruppert Leroy - Martin Fontaine

'Martin Fontaine' is a steep parcel of Chardonnay planted at the top of the hill with a south/southwestern exposure. The name appears to refer to an old water source at the bottom of the hill that no longer exists. The alternate name “Mort Fontaine...

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