Vincelles, a charming old village on the tourist trail through the Marne Valley, is the ancestral home of Pinot Meunier. It’s a twenty minute drive east to Epernay, and thirty to Reims. The very name Vincelles is a nod to its winemaking heritage: “vini cella” is Latin for wine cellar.

 

Henry BLIN, along with most of the producers in Vincelles, comes from a long line of vintners stretching back to the 17th century - but it was Henri BLIN who united 29 growers and vintners in Vincelles in 1947 to found Champagne H.BLIN (the H is for Henri).

the Président

Simon Blin has been president since 2009 and is the grandson of Henri BLIN, one of the founders of the Cooperative in 1947. Simon comes from a long line of proud Vincelles vintners, going back at least 12 generations all the way to Jacques Blin, born in 1636. He maintains the family’s determination to promote Pinot Meunier, growing, tending, harvesting and marketing the grape and its illustrious wine. Indeed, Pinot Meunier has seen a renaissance in the past few years: it is now a particularly prized variety, especially when (like in Vincelles) it pairs its characteristic richness and fruit with a freshness and tension that champagne connoisseurs crave.

 

Today, Champagne H.BLIN and our 120 vintners tend 118 hectares of vines, predominantly Meunier (70%), but also Chardonnay (16%) and Pinot Noir (14%). H.BLIN and our vintners are driven by a few core values: passion, love for the vine and grape, a commitment to quality and respect for the earth.

H.BLIN champagne is made from grapes grown on exceptional soil and under unique conditions, using techniques and an ethos handed down from generation to generation. Our vines are grown on chalky clay soils with ideal exposure (south-southeast), allowing the grapes to grow and ripen slowly and completely.  For many years, we have been committed to sustainable farming practices which help protect the earth (and have since been awarded the sustainable VDC label).

Vincelles is a land where respect for the environment and the vineyard is not just a simple word...

Working the Vines

 

Vineyards grow to the rhythm of the seasons. By working every day and getting to grips with their vines, growers and vintners have built the quality and reputation of Champagne. In Vincelles more than elsewhere, vintners are in constant physical contact with their vines - just like their fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers before them.

Harvest

 

This is the culmination of many months’ work, fears and doubts. A time of both enjoyment and stress, the village takes on a unique atmosphere at harvest time. It’s at this time that H.BLIN will gear up all five presses (three 8000kg, one 12,000kg and one 4,000kg presses for organic and single-vineyard wines) and work around the clock to ensure our vintners harvest the grapes at their peak.

Winemaking and Blending

 

After racking (the first step in the clarification process), the must (juice) is drawn off and sent to the vat room to be turned into wine. An initial fermentation will turn the must into wine. The second, malolactic fermentation (not compulsory) turns the malic acid in the wine into lactic acid, helping develop the wine’s aromas. At Champagne H.BLIN, we will generally ferment a second time - except for certain champagnes, which benefit from a little more freshness and tension. Next comes “clarification”, producing a crystal-clear wine. These are now ready for blending by Sébastien Barbier, our Cellarmaster and conductor of the orchestra that is Champagne H.BLIN’s unmistakeable style. Here, our reserve wines, kept from previous years, represent around 30% of the blend (depending on the wine).

Fermentation in Bottle

 

Near the beginning of the year (March and April for Champagne H.BLIN), the wines are taken from the vat and bottled. A mixture of sugar, yeast and wine is added to ferment the wine a final time in the bottle, creating the gas that gives champagne its iconic bubbles.

 

 

Ageing on the lees

 

In a dark, quiet cellar, the bottles sit
and mature for several years
(2 to 4 years at Champagne H.BLIN).

 

Riddling
Disgorging
and Racking

 

Once properly matured, the wine must regain its former clarity and the sediment formed during the final fermentation must be extracted. To do this, each bottle is riddled, turning it regularly to bring all of this sediment (yeast, etc.) down to the neck of the bottle, by the cap. The neck is then plunged into a solution at around -27°, freezing the sediment mixture solid. When the bottle is opened, the internal pressure forces out this block while losing as little wine and pressure as possible. Lastly, the level is brought back up with a mixture of sugar and wine before a cork is inserted and secured onto the neck of the bottle. The amount of sugar added will determine the type of wine that we want to produce (for example, Brut will contain between 6 and 12 grams of sugar per litre).

Labelling

Packing

and Shipping

 

At Champagne H.BLIN, our wines are never shipped until the champagne has rested for at least three months (six to eight for certain wines), allowing it to reach its full flavour and aroma potential. Each bottle is labelled and packed by our teams, who strive to ensure the highest levels of quality. We always keep a stock of bottles on site, allowing us to meet even the most urgent requests.

 

Champagne from H.BLIN is made to reflect its unique location and landscape. It’s made almost exclusively from Vincelles vineyards, and the passion of our vintners shines through in every bottle. This landscape is ideal for champagne from north to south, providing the ideal conditions for harmonious yet distinctive wines. Our Cellarmaster Sébastien Barbier is a specialist in Pinot Meunier, honing and perfecting the house style on a daily basis. He maintains a fine balance between Purity, Freshness and Tension on the one hand (we add very little sugar - between 2 and 7g - and restrict our use of other products to an absolute minimum), and Harmony, Fruit and Character on the other hand.

Our production methods support this constant search for quality, and every process is completed and monitored by our teams inside our winery. With a full ISO 22000 certification (awarded in 2017), our quality and traceability have now been officially recognised.

cellarmaster

THE H.BLIN EXPERIENCE

CONTACT

FRANÇAIS

Champagne H.Blin ©2019. All rights reserved. Legal Notice.

Vincelles, a charming old village on the tourist trail through the Marne Valley, is the ancestral home of Pinot Meunier. It’s a twenty minute drive east to Epernay, and thirty to Reims. The very name Vincelles is a nod to its winemaking heritage: “vini cella” is Latin for wine cellar.

 

Henry BLIN, along with most of the producers in Vincelles, comes from a long line of vintners stretching back to the 17th century - but it was Henri BLIN who united 29 growers and vintners in Vincelles in 1947 to found Champagne H.BLIN (the H is for Henri).

Champagne from H.BLIN is made to reflect its unique location and landscape. It’s made almost exclusively from Vincelles vineyards, and the passion of our vintners shines through in every bottle. This landscape is ideal for champagne from north to south, providing the ideal conditions for harmonious yet distinctive wines.

Our Cellarmaster Sébastien Barbier is a specialist in Pinot Meunier, honing and perfecting the house style on a daily basis. He maintains a fine balance between Purity, Freshness and Tension on the one hand (we add very little sugar - between 2 and 7g - and restrict our use of other products to an absolute minimum), and Harmony, Fruit and Character on the other hand.

Our production methods support this constant search for quality, and every process is completed and monitored by our teams inside our winery. With a full ISO 22000 certification (awarded in 2017), our quality and traceability have now been officially recognised.

cellarmaster