About Champagne Guenin
Driving through the narrow streets of Essoyes in the heart of the Côte des Bar, one cannot help but smile while pulling into the driveway of Sébastien and Axelle Guenin. There is a romanticism to this tiny village in the Aube, in which Axelle, Sébastien’s wife, reaffirms with her warm, hospitable personality as she greets you. Driving towards the cellar, their lifelong familiarity with this quaint historic place becomes evident, weaving through the streets with ease and purpose.
The history of the Guenin family in this part of the Côte des Bar dates back to 1648. As the current head of the Domaine, Sébastien is the 11th generation winemaker who decided to return to his roots to cultivate his first vintage in 2015. After years of studying enology in Beaune, and experiencing various winemaking regions throughout France, Sébastien chose to continue to pass down the passion and knowledge showcased by previous generations of his family. By sourcing grapes from vineyards planted by his great-grandfather in 1952 and further cultivated by his grandfather and father, Sébastien is crafting Pinot Noir-dominant wines that sing true to the beauty of the Aube’s distinct terroir.
Sébastien and Axelle currently own 17 hectares, 92% of which are planted for Pinot Noir, 7% for Chardonnay, and the rest for Pinot Blanc. The carefully selected hillside vineyards and the clay-limestone soils allow the Pinot Noir to express all its finesse and aromatic complexity that this region is recognized for. Rather than bottling most of these incredible holdings, Sébastien keeps production limited with the aim of selecting only the best plots that are a clear expression of the Côte de Bar terroir. Only a few vintage cuvées have been released since 2015.
The laser-sharp focus of Sébastien and Axelle in limited production and on the quality is lending itself to pure, mineral-dense, and linear expressions of Côte de Bar Champagne. It doesn’t hurt that both know the true essence of Essoyes and have planted their roots here to continue the family’s long history in the Aube.