Passion for terroir
CELLAR MASTER & GRAPEFATHER
Over twenty years ago, in 1999, Bertrand Lhôpital was given the keys to the century-old family house by his father Serge. He has since devoted his life to his legacy with a strong conviction: his viticulture will be green and virtuous, respectful of the environment and its winegrowers. Bertrand Lhôpital is determined to preserve the quality of his champagne rather than focus on the quantity of his production. His attention remains on the vines of the Telmont estate, protecting its soil and respecting the terroir.
His research is directed by his ecological and environmental awareness, which is premature in the Champagne world.
Aurore Guerlesquin was named Assistant Cellar Master of the Telmont champagne house in December 2020. A native of the Champagne region, born in Epernay, Aurore developed a passion for wine early on. Her first internships with renowned regional houses and the numerous tastings she performed there further piqued her interest in champagne. Today, Aurore is an essential member of the Telmont family, and accompanies Bertrand Lhôpital, Head of Viticulture and Cellar Master, daily in his perpetual quest of the unique style of Telmont Champagne.
Cellar Master & Vineyard Director
Wine Production & Cellar Manager
Communication & Hospitality Officer
Production and Expedition Officer
Ludovic du Plessis
President of Maison Telmont
Global Marketing & Business Development Director
Shop Manager & Hospitality Assistant
Packaging & Quality Officer
Production and cellar assistant
Cellar and garden assistant
In the vines
In the cellars
After the annual harvest the vines rest and we begin the
meticulous art of pruning our vines. Each vine is carefully pruned by hand to guide a balanced productivity and protect the long-term health of our vineyard.
Vine shoots that are cut away during the pruning process are ground into small pieces which we leave to decompose and naturally enrich our soil.
Throughout the pruning process we delicately hand-tie the shoots of our vines to supportive wires with a biodegradable fastening to best position them for growth.
In february, we apply organic fertilizers to support the healthy and sustainable growth of our vines.
At telmont our champagne is an expression of terroir and our terroir is our soil.
We seek to protect our soil and,therefore, do not use any herbicide. We allow green grass to grow between our vines, a form of protection against soil erosion.
As the weather warms and green buds begin to peek through, we carefully remove any unproductive shoots to allow our vines to focus their energy on bearing fruit.
Instead of chemical pesticides,at telmont we use the process of sexual confusion (intelligent placement of female pest hormones) to deter mating of dangerous pests such as cluster worms.
As our vines grow and fill with long green shoots, we now raise them from the ground and carefully attach them vertically to guiding wires. Lifting allows us to protect the emerging young flowers as well as aerate the foliage, preventing cryptogamic diseases.
In order to keep the leaves of our vines from overcrowding one another, the shoots are separated and tied to wires to create an evenly distributed leaf canopy.
Aligned with organic agriculture practices, copper is applied to our vines as a natural defense against pest. Unlike synthetic and chemical pesticides, copper is a natural element which strengthens the defense system of our vines.
An important part of summer vine maintenance, throughout the months of june and july we carefully thin our vines, removing foliage that would otherwise impede fruit growth.
Throughout the year we use natural tisanes intended to help our vines develop their natural defense systems against various diseases and infections. Horsetail and wicker tisanes,for example, are used to help our vines protect themselves against mildew.
August – october
The grapes are picked by hand, honoring the Champagne tradition. Every year 120,000 pickers harvest only whole, undamaged grape clusters to ensure clear and quality champagne.
Slow and steady pressure is applied to the fresh grapes, extracting the high quality juice. Grapes must be pressed the day that they are harvested.
When the grape juice is transformed into wine. Added yeast and sugar react with the natural sugars present in the juice, producing alcohol. The wine clarifies naturally as residual sediments sink to the bottom of the steel vats.
Blending is a paramount stage in champagne making as it gives each champagne its identity. It is the process through which the cellar master will use their collection of wines - vins clairs - from different grape varieties originating from multiple vineyards and years to produce the perfect wine base for future champagne.
The newly blended cuvée is bottled with the addition of the”liqueur de tirage,” a blend of still wine, sugar and active yeast strains.Today, most bottles are sealed with a “bidule” held inplace by a metal cap.
Inside each individual bottle the wine will undergo a second fermentation and gain its sparkle. Trapped inside the bottle, the naturally produced carbon dioxide transforms into the fine bubbles we all know to be Champagne's signature effervescence – “prise de mousse”.
Minimum 3 years
Deep inside the cellars, the bottles embark on a long period of maturation. The ”lees”, yeast cells left over in the bottles, will define the Champagne’s flavor profile. Telmont non-vintage champagnes age for a minimum of 3 years, twice the AOC requirement and our vintage champagnes spend a minimum of 6 years in our cellars.
The bottles are rotated successively clockwise and counterclockwise, ushering the sediments from the second fermentation to the bottleneck. Traditionally hand-turned by skilled cellar masters, manual remuage can take 4 to 6 weeks and involves approximately 25 turns per bottle.
The neck of the bottle is immersed in a bath at approximately -25°C, forming a frozen plug in the neck entrapping the gathered sediment. When the bottle is opened, the internal pressure allows the frozen sediment to be ejected and results in the desired perfectly clear Champagne.
The Cellar Master choses the nature of the wine to be used as the base for the liqueur as well as the final sugar dose, in turn defining the classification of the champagne: Brut, Extra Brut etc.
Finally the bottles are corked, wired and adorned with the house signature and label.
In the vines
In the cellars
Excellence in its terroir, unique in its alliance of soil, climate and human craft. The Champagne appellation encompasses roughly 34,300 hectares of vineyards in the North East of France
our house is as much at the heart of the vineyard as the vineyard is at the heart of our house.
Guided by our values, and by the eternal pursuit of excellence, ours is an approach that brings together tradition and sustainability.