Lucien and Josette Moutard, Champagne winemakers:
The origins of the Moutard family.
Lucien Moutard was from a family in Polisy, Côte-des-Bar. He inherited the art of cultivating the local land from his father Paul and passed it on to his children: Agnès, Véronique and François. “He worked hard to develop the brand”, notes his son François Moutard.
Lucien Moutard continued in the footsteps of his father and continued to plant vineyards on his land. He increased the cultivated area and the number of vines. He planted 10 hectares of vineyards from 1950 to 1980. “He believed deeply in the Côte-des-Bar region and its land and he established a strip of land”, his son continues.
Lucien Moutard started to make Champagne in 1952. The enthusiast even created a regional union in Aube protecting the Champagne designation. He loved and defended the Côte-des-Bar terroir and its protected designation area. The special features of the region’s relief meant that the vines had to be planted on very steep hillsides. The earth is made up of marls, limestone and clay. The nature of the sub-soil gives Côte-des-Bar wine its typical flavour. “My father gave us a taste for excellence . He taught us the underlying principles and all the basics of the business . He was already making very good wine” confides his son.
“My father gave us a taste for excellence . He taught us the underlying principles and all the basics of the business . He was already making very good wine”.
In 1952, Lucien Moutard planted a plot of the Arbane variety (10 ares). The Arbane, cultivated around Bar-sur-Seine, had nearly disappeared from the Champagne vineyards. But François Moutard worked to preserve this rare variety which came from his father. He decided to dedicate a special cuvée to it, developed from the 1952 vines. A rare cuvée from which he produced several thousand bottles. “This variety was late to ripen and is difficult to work with, but it provides an unrivalled finesse to the blend” explains François Moutard. This special cuvée has notes of hawthorn and carnation, blended with aromas of Reinette apple, wild peach and even quince.
Lucien Moutard worked alongside his family and furthermore, always instilled a sense of family in his children. His wife Josette Moutard also worked alongside him. “My mother worked on the vines and welcomed customers. Working as a family was very important to him. He would be happy to see the family’s success” explains François.
Within the family, specialising in this field and not understanding a stage of the production is out of the question. The whole family masters every step, from the vine to the customer. “This is one of the principles passed on by my father. He wanted everyone to fully understand production and customers” assures François.
"My father loved the vines, he experimented with new cultivation and vinification techniques".
Currently, all members of the Moutard family look towards the future with cuvées which target excellence every year . A taste for perfection passed on by their father.
1642 – The ancestors of the Moutard family cultivate vines on the Buxeuil hillsides
1892 – Louis Diligent cultivates vines in Buxeuil. His son Hyacinthe develops still wines selected for the major merchants and distils marcs in copper pot stills.
1927 – The 22 July Law includes the Aube vineyard in the Champagne designation area.
1927 – François Diligent, son of Hyacinthe, develops his first Champagne designation wines from 1.5 hectares of vines.
1941 – François Diligent creates a trading company.
1958 - Josette Diligent, daughter of François, marries Lucien Moutard. The latter comes from a family in Polisy, Côte-des-Bar. He inherited the art of vine cultivation from his father Paul.
1973 – Wave of vat modernisation, with 11 stainless steel vats. Production, across 10 hectares of vines, is around 80,000 bottles per year.
1980 – The third generation of winemakers in the family emerges with Agnès, Véronique and François. They expand the vineyard, develop activity and increase numbers of production tools and storage sites.
1982 – François Moutard relaunches his grandfather’s business. He sells 40% wines from his own vines and 60% from purchases within Côte des Bar.
1988 – Lucien Moutard creates the Moutard-Diligent distillery (a homage to Hyacinthe Diligent’s 19th century production). It now includes 5 copper pot stills.
2004 – The Moutard family acquires an estate in Burgundy, Chablis and Grand Auxerrois, called Domaine Moutard-Diligent.
2015 – The distillery receives the Ecocert certification.
2016 – The family launches the 6 Crémants de Bourgogne range.
2016 – Sulphite-free Champagne and Burgundy range. Still located in Buxeuil, the fourth generation continues to pass on the family tradition and develop the brand’s reputation worldwide.