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About J.M. Goulard

Following a muddy drive across the Marne to the small town of Prouilly, Damien Goulard appears from a beautifully lit, modern tasting room. We cross the street into the cellar where there is plenty of action happening. Immediately, Damien proudly points out the large Coquard basket press, which he references being one of less than a hundred left in Champagne, despite its origin in traditional Champagne production. Making our way through the cellar, it becomes very apparent he has enormous respect for tradition, but the desire to find the terroir of the Massif de Saint-Thierry in wines are his overarching motivation towards the future.

The Goulard estate was founded in 1978 by Damien’s grandfather, whose son, Jean-Marie, later took over, finally handing the reins to Damien, the third generation, in 2012. The close-knit, involved nature of this family is apparent in both the cellar and the tasting room. Jean-Marie was overseeing the disgorgement machine in action, during which he joked about the actual work being done on his part: “Everything is becoming mechanized.” Back in the tasting room, Damien’s mother busily attends the back-office work while filling in all the blanks along the way. 

Damien references his “small family Domaine” while pointing out the specificity of this region. The terroir of Massif de Saint-Thierry favors red grapes, which can be seen as Goulard’s vines are 50% Meunier, and 35% Pinot Noir, with a small percentage of Chardonnay. The Meunier thrives in the sandier areas of the region, while the Pinot Noir performs well with more clay in the soil, and the Chardonnay is planted in chalk—a glimpse into the geographical diversity of this Massif de Saint-Thierry. Outside of the Chardonnay, all vineyards are vinified separately with a focus in creating a subtle beauty in the Munier and Pinot Noir through the blending of the wines.

The whole range is being overseen by Damien, but he’ll admit to putting an extra foot forward for his wines: ‘Origine,’ ‘Origine Rosé,’ and ‘La Charme.’ These elegant, mineral, and expressive wines truly represent why the red grapes thrive here, and how Damien has made huge strides since 2012, taking the Domaine organic in 2015, and adding plenty of youthful energy into J.M. Goulard.