- Côte des Bar, Champagne, France
Today, there is a strong emergence of a new generation of winegrowers and a remarkable proliferation of new estates in the Côte des Bar. In 2004, for example, Davy Dosnon created his boutique négociant house in the village of Avirey-Lingey in the Bársequanais, and today, he makes plush, opulent champagnes that combine the ripe fruit of the Aube with a sophisticated finesse. - Peter Liem, Champagne, 2017.
Dosnon is the brainchild of Davy Dosnon who grew up in this beautiful region of rolling hills, wheat fields, and champagne vines. Davy studied viticulture and worked in top Burgundy wine houses before moving back to the village of Lingey in the Côte des Bar region of Champagne for the peace and quiet and to begin to reassemble his family’s vineyards.
The Côte des Bar is located in the southernmost area of Champagne in the Pays d’Aube. Politically and geologically, this sub-zone is as far as you can get from Reims and Épernay. When Champagne’s original borders were drawn, there was a lively debate on whether or not the Aube should be included. Here the terroir is starkly different from northern Champagne and its famed chalky soils. In the Aube, the terroir resembles that of Chablis – clay over Kimmeridgian and Portlandian limestone. These soils produce wines of great delineation, power, and purity.
Davy farms 7.5 hectares of vines around the villages of Avirey and Lingey, just half an hour north of Chablis. He owns just 2 hectares himself, and he rents the rest. The patchwork nature of the vineyards – intermixed with forest and fields of grain – shows the centuries-long work of identifying the rockiest and most suitable places to grow vines. Davy is descended from these pioneers, and he preserves many of their tools and records at his cellar.
The Dosnons have lived in the village of Ligney and its environs for generations. Davy has recuperated a small percentage of the vineyards that his ancestors once possessed– the fruit from which goes into Champagne Dosnon – but he also purchases fruit from neighbors in the Côte des Bar for his second label, Champagne Henri Dosnon, named in honor of his grandfather.