The small Champagne house of Chartogne-Taillet is definitely one to watch. Located in the village of Merfy, north-west of Reims, it is run by dynamic father and son team, Philippe and Alexandre Chartogne. With just 12 hectares of vineyard in Merfy and adjacent villages, this is by no means a large-scale operation and, as far as possible, grapes are sustainably farmed and production is non-interventionist.
The soils here have layers of sand and clay producing rounder wines than those grown on purely chalk. During the First World War Merfy was on the front line and a lot of the vineyard area was laid to waste as a result. This meant it was unable to develop in the same way as other nearby, now better-established areas. The Chartogne family is at the forefront of the movement to rejuvenate the reputation of the region with small, high-quality parcels of single vineyard wines, further refined by the increasing use of barrels.