Five generations of the Mea family have made wine in the Grand Cru Village of Louvois. Starting with Gilbert Mea in 1922 the unbroken lineage of family knowledge has been passed down, first from father to son, then father to daughter and now from mother to daughter. In 1940 René the second generation of the family was taken prisoner and spent 5 years in a camp in Austria. While he was away his son, Guy, assumed the role of man of the house in charge of vines and animals despite only being 9 years old. René returned safe and in good health, Guy went off to school in Paris. There he learned to market and sell the champagne he was already accustomed to making from his own vines. While Guy is still alive and a part of the team he turned over the duties of day to day to his daughter Evelyne in 1982 who has then passed it along after 35 years to her daughter and current winemaker Sophie.
Champagne Guy Mea is located in the tiny Grand Cru of Louvois. The village is named after the wolves (‘loup’ in French) that used to emerge from the forests above and wander down through the vineyards and out to hunt. The vineyards are all to the south of the town on hills that face back towards the river. The entirety of the village is contiguous to the vineyards of northwest Bouzy, the only thing separating them are the jutting lines of artificial village boundaries drawn between vineyard plots.
Historically vineyard holdings have been in Louvois, Bouzy and the premier cru of Tauxières-Mutry. Through marriage of vineyard owning families Guy acquired vineyards in Ludes, Chigny-les-Roses and Montbré that are still owned by the house. All totaled, there are 24 plots planted predominantly to Pinot Noir spread across 2 Grand Cru villages and 4 Premier Cru villages.
The majority of the winemaking decisions are made in the vineyard. The soils are worked on the surface to encourage deeper roots but not over worked as not to disturb the microbial life of the land. There is no set rules for the decisions that are made, each plot requires a specific plan and that plan can, and does, change from year to year. Each plot is harvested and vilified separately to evaluate each individual expression of terroir and vintage. There are never any chemical fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides and for this they have achieved the status of HVE (High Environmental Value).
The story of Champagne Guy Mea is one of family, of survival and of generational knowledge of land and grape. If you visit the estate today you will see Guy Mea and his great grand children playing amongst the stacks of bottles and barrels and hand painted vintage notes on the cellar walls.