“The art of being natural”
The Fleury estate was founded 1895 in Courteron in the heart of southern Champagne in the Côte des Bar. The domain lies nestled among the clay-limestone hillsides formed in the Kimmeridgian period by the first tributaries of the Seine. The Source of the River Seine begins 70 km upstream, towards Saint-Seine-l'Abbaye.
The family’s passion for viticulture has been fuelled by the adventure of Biodynamic principals, giving a new meaning to the profession. To be respectful of the natural and living heritage of this terroir, where custodians of the land forever learn, in all humility, to perceive the balance and to unearth its mysteries.
STARS AT HOME
THE FLEURY GALAXY
Created in 1895 and run today by the 4th generation, Domain Fleury is above all a family story of shared passion and innovation in the art of wine growing in accordance with nature. Under the drive and wisdom of Jean-Pierre, three of his children continue to keep the Fleury galaxy spinning! (1).
- 1 - The Fleury Galaxy
A quest to share and shine a light on the Fleury wines!
The second daughter of Jean-Pierre Fleury, Morgane spent her childhood in Courteron. While today she is considered a Parisian at heart, every vine and moment of the vineyard's evolution are deeply rooted in her. As a young actress in Paris she worked in bistros and restaurants to supplement her income and started selling the family Champagne.
After her father asked Morgane to help develop their export market, she trained as a sommelier at the Wine University of Suze-la-Rousse. She has been representing the domain for several years with passion and pride at trade shows in France and abroad. In 2009, she opened her own eco-logical wine shop "Ma Cave Fleury” in the heart of Paris. To this day she continues to promote the ethos and wines of Domain Fleury.
- 1 - The Fleury Galaxy
The sensitivity and subtlety of wine-blending in the peaceful shade of the cellar!
The second son of Jean-Pierre Fleury, Jean-Sébastien grew up with a respect for the land and individuality, reinforced by his Waldorf-Steiner education. An Erasmus grant to Germany, gave him his taste for travel. After receiving a masters degree in economics, he began to work doing different jobs. One day, something clicked: the desire to be one of the links in the family chain. Since 2009, he is in charge of the creation and quality of the wines, from the moment the grapes hit the press, to the rise of the bubbles in the glass. Seeking to continue the work of biodynamics in the cellar, (minimizing oenological inputs, including sulfur), in 2012 he created "Sonate", the first cuvée without added sulfur from the 2009 harvest. It was next Morgane’s initiate which inspired two new cuvées "Notes blanches", a 100% Pinot blanc, Brut Nature cuvée, and "Boléro" a pure Pinot Noir vintage 2004. Jean-Sébastien’s insatiable curiosity and keen eye for both micro and macro detail are paired with his patience and rigor.
- 1 - The Fleury Galaxy
Benoît FleuryReaching for the stars with his feet on the ground, from dawn to dusk!
Benoît Fleury born in 1989, at the same time as biodynamic viticulture was introduced into the estate, followed his early passion for the vines: viticultural high school in Beaune, BTS in viticulture and wine-making in Montpellier, bachelor's degree in viticulture and the environment in Rheims, and practical training in Burgundy, the Languedoc, and even Ontario. He joined the domain during the 2010 harvest to manage the 15-hectare vineyard. He perpetuates biodynamic viticulture. Experimenting with research, he has planted rare grape varieties such as Pinot Gris to diversify the domain’s portfolio. He is convinced that agroforestry should become the way of the future.
Innovation has always played a key role in the Fleury family. Each generation has had to produce novel approaches during difficult times. Emile Fleury was audacious enough to graft the first Pinot Noir vines in the region after the devastating phylloxera invasion in the early 20th century.
When the economic crisis hit in 1929 his son Robert Fleury saved his small vine-growing business by venturing into champagne production. In doing so he became one of the first “grower-producers” of the southern Champagne region, now known as “creators of champagne growers”.
In 1970 Jean-Pierre Fleury took over and in 1989 he was the first to apply biodynamic practices to the vineyard; only partly at first and then entirely in 1992.
And not forgetting Morgane Fleury, an actress and sommelier who developed a new concept of an ecological wine and champagne bar in central Paris.
Jean-Sébastien is also at the heart of innovation at the domain, experimenting with grafting techniques in the vines, as well as reintroducing horses to work on certain plots. He has installed a “gallery of casks and barrels” and created the first sulphur-free wines of the domain.
Equally, Benoît is currently experimenting with massale selection(2), agroforestry(3) as new ways of cultivating the vines in symbiosis with an adapting environment.
- 2 - Massal selection
Instead of buying plants from a nursery when looking to plant and replace vines, the winegrower chooses grafts taken from the best old vines cultivated in biodynamics. This technique makes it possible to obtain an "organic identity at the source” and a guarantee of high quality.
- 3 - Agroforestry
A practice that aims to blend both vines, trees, and other wild plants on the same plot. The objective is to improve the biodiversity of the ecosystem, the fertility and humidity of the soil, to alleviate climatic changes, and to modify the microclimate.
Jean-Pierre wanted to be an astronaut.
To discover and understand the reason for this infinite world! Why is it that on a starry night we feel this immense magical force emanating from the sky, with the feeling that the whole Universe is watching over us…? Us the children of the earth with a passion for the world and the desire to go further.
Children of the earth
with the passion for the world
and the desire to go further
The love of the land is undeniably written in the Fleury family’s genes. It is not only expressed as an attachment to the roots and the land, but also as a conviction that they each play a modest but essential role in providing harmony and unity through their interaction with the environment.
As a young winemaker in the late 60s, Jean Pierre Fleury had already witnessed and questioned the harmful effects of the chemicals he handled on a daily basis. He was made aware of this by Rachel Carson's book "The Silent Spring", which warned of the environmental ravages of pesticides and DDT in 1962. He was inspired to leave a healthy land for his children. His childhood passion for astronomy and his discovery of other cultures (notably in Japan) maintained his fascination in the relationship between sky and earth, ultimately leading him to start working biodynamically in 1989.
“At first a marginal pioneer in the field, he is now an admired expert that has opened the way for a new vision of viticulture in Champagne.”
The alchemy of sky and earth
Champagne is a tradition deeply rooted in the history of the land and often in a family.
However, the true spirit of Champagne lies both in wonders of nature and man’s ability to enhance it, by understanding the close ties between the microcosm and macrocosm(4).
- 4 - The microcosm and the macrocosm
The microcosm is the Earth, our ecosystem, everything that surrounds us in our immediate perception; the macrocosm is the universe that encompasses us. We are a tiny part of it, like a piece of a puzzle integrated into a greater being.
This sensibility towards the interconnections between sky and earth in conjunction with the power and harmony of life are the foundations of biodynamic practices.