Even though vine growing for the Moreau family dates back to 1875, the first wines from their grapes weren’t made in the village until 1956 when Robert Moreau founded the local cooperative. In 1961 he bottled a few hundred bottles of champagne from his own grapes with an eye towards the future. He was hoping to create an independent future of winemaking for his son. By 1970, with his son Daniel now at the helm the direction was clear. The estate would no longer provide grapes to the co-op and all 2.68ha of Meunier would go in to the family wine. By 1978 he had lessened the use of chemical additives to the vineyard, decades before some of his neighbors and in the 1990’s he was already using grasses in between his vines for diversity of flora.
In 2005 Daniel’s son Bastien fully took over the day to day operations of grape growing and winemaking. His immediate goal was to become an organic winery and has since achieved such and is fully certified Organic. His approach is rational, methodical and precise. The goal is to produce the best grapes possible. He has, as the years have passed, adapted his philosophy to do less, and let nature do more. He has set the stage for the vineyards to produce the best they can and he stays to of the way of Mother Nature. No chemical, pesticide or weedkiller is used. Bastien is resolute in his practices and no change in the weather or vineyard will knock him off course.
There are now 16 plots in the family holdings spread over a span of only 10km (6.21 miles) creating a very rare concentration of terroir. Each plot is vilified separate and each year there are 16 vats of wine. The blends are created from these and only in special years is a vintage created. Only 8 have been made in the last 30 years.
Bastien has had the time to learn his plots, learn his craft and refine his approach to both. He is thoughtful and his wines exude the same quality. Precision is a word that could be placed on almost any part of the man or his champagne yet he still strives for more. New plots, new grapes, new wines. The picture of Champagne Daniel Moreau is clear but the transformation is far from over. More is still to come.