The history of wine begins in 1862 with Grégoire Bonnet, one of the first collector-handlers from the town of Chamery.
Jules Bonnet takes over the estate, expands the Chamery vineyard and in 1902 installs a 5,500 kg Dubois press, fully powered by human energy, while human electricity is not yet installed in the village. At that time, the farm's activity was divided between the family production of cavas and still wines and the sale of grapes for the big houses.
After the destruction of the Second World War, Raoul Bonnet had to relocate the property. Then began the construction of our current winery to store its production of around 5,000 bottles per year. He was quickly joined by his son André Bonnet who, from the age of 14, was in charge of plowing the vines with the house's 2 draft horses.
THE BIRTH OF BONNET-PONSON
The 1957 meeting and marriage of André Bonnet and Monique Ponson resulted in the creation of the Bonnet-Ponson estate. In addition to the Chamery vineyard, he had parcels of Meunier sur Vrigny and Coulommes-la-Montagne, a legacy of Monique Ponson whose grandfather was already a winegrower.
After a life of hard work, his vineyard extends over more than 9 Ha, planted with the 3 varieties of Champagne grapes in equivalent proportions. Underground, this is also developing with the expansion of André Bonnet's cellar, eager to develop the style of his champagnes towards greater complexity and maturity.
When Thierry Bonnet joined his parents in 1979, all stages of Bonnet-Ponson Champagnes production were carried out by the family and its 3 employees, including the on-the-go disgorgement of some 70,000 bottles.
THE FIFTH AND SIXTH GENERATIONS
For 30 years, Thierry Bonnet continued to develop the estate by building new wineries, as well as adding an additional hectare of vines to the vineyard, several parcels located in the terroirs of Chamery, Vrigny and Verzenay. Thierry also returned to work on understory wines in 1988 with the first vintage of the Jules Bonnet Blanc de Noirs cuvée.
After obtaining his diploma in oenology in 2006, Cyril Bonnet started at the Frontón estate for 6 years before joining his father in 2013. He then began converting the estate to organic farming and vineyard development. alternative methods based on herbal medicine. In the winery, some of the wines are now vinified without sulphites, with the birth of a new cuvée soon.
he personality of a wine depends primarily on the origin of the grapes used to make it. Those of our house always come from the family vineyard, about fifty parcels spread over the villages of Chamery, Vrigny, Coulommes-la-Montagne and Verzenay.
Along this facade of the Montagne de Reims, the many sides of the coast create terroirs with varied exposures, ranging from the north to the southeast. The nature of the soils also changes according to the towns and localities, between sand, limestone and clay, creating favorable situations for various grape varieties.
With a total area of 10.5 Ha, our vineyard has an average age of 35 years. Today it is planted with 3.80 Ha of Pinot Noir, 3.30 Ha of Meunier, 3.20 of Chardonnay and 0.20 Ha of Petit Meslier.MAP OF TERRUÑO
CHAMERY, VRIGNY AND COULOMMES LA MONTAGNE
Most of our plots are planted on the slopes of these 3 Premier Cru classified villages. This part of the Reims mountain was formed in the Tertiary era and comprises different geological layers accumulated on the basis of Campanian chalk.
At the bottom of the coast we find sands, light and warm soils; Most of our Pinot Meunier grows in these soils, producing wines with intense and sometimes exotic fruit. Lightweight and easy to digest in their youth, they develop beautiful material with age.
Going up the slope, the proportion of silt increases and mixes with the clay. It is the terroir of our Pinots Noirs that thrives in these deep and well exposed soils. The wines of these "mid-ribs" have a beautiful structure and show a magnificent aromatic depth, over red and yellow fruits and spices.
Further up the slope, our Chardonnay plots are planted, protected from the risk of spring frosts. The soil is more clayey, sometimes mixed with limestone scree and fragments of flint. The wines here show liveliness and honesty, with an aromatic record around white flowers, citrus and white fruits. A little reserved in their youth, they are much more expressive over the years and are often part of our reserve wines.
Since 2003, we have been working on 5 plots of old Pinot Noir vines in this grand cru classified village. The northern exposure of the slope creates a particularly favorable situation for the expression of Pinot Noir.
The relatively late harvests allow a gradual maturation, preserving the acidity of the bunches and giving the wines great aging potential. The mineral texture provided by the calcareous earth contributes to the power and balance of these wines, which is the basis of our Jules Bonnet Blanc de Noirs champagne.
Attachment to our land, search for authenticity, respect for living beings: these values so dear to Bonnet-Ponson have naturally led us to work our vineyards with organic and sustainable methods. Since 2013, organic certification it concerns our entire vineyard, thus ensuring that our plots do not receive synthetic insecticides, herbicides or fungicides.
Essential phytosanitary protection against mildew and powdery mildew is carried out by natural fungicides (copper and sulfur) used in addition to native plant preparations prepared on the farm (maceration and infusion of nettles, horsetail and comfrey).
The objective is above all to enhance the vitality of the plant and its defense capacity. It is a more preventive and comprehensive approach than a curative one. The most concrete and measurable consequence is the grape harvest free of traces of pesticides because these treatments act on the surface (contact) without penetrating the circulation of the plant.
The vegetation develops naturally in our vines during a good part of the year, allowing the renewal of the humus layer essential for the life of the soil.
From April to July, soil maintenance is done by scratching and digging. This shallow plow allows the soil to breathe and also causes the vines to take root more deeply. The vine can then feed on the mineral substance of the place and acquire a better resistance to climatic hazards.
This growing method leads to a reduction in yields, largely offset by the superior quality of the bunches and a better acid / sugar balance in the juices. A vine that produces fewer grapes also has a longer life expectancy.
From the harvest, each stage of the vinification is carried out with gentle and respectful methods, with the aim of revealing the purest expression of our Champagne wines.
Pressed by parcel or by group of nearby parcels, the grape releases the must that flows by gravity to the decantation tanks located in our wineries. They are fermented the next day with sourdough from our house, a yeast culture from our terroirs previously developed from grapes pressed a week before the harvest. This procedure allows us to limit the use of sulphites to a minimum, or even to do without them altogether during part of the harvest.
A JOB OF PATIENCE
In oak barrels, stainless steel or concrete vats, each juice ferments in the container, allowing the best expression of its qualities, preserving its aging potential. The maturation phase lasts at least 7 months: the new wine then forges, in contact with its lees, the structure that will guarantee its evolution over time. Clarification takes place naturally, thanks to the cold of winter and the wines are generally not filtered.
Every year, between 30 and 401TT of the harvest goes to the reserve for mixing with later vintages. This “taste memory” started 50 years ago by André Bonnet guarantees the consistency of the Bonnet-Ponson house style.
At the end of the draw and the second fermentation, our cuvées wait between 3 and 10 years in the calm of our cellars, the time necessary to reach the point of perfect maturity, with a balance between freshness and vinous.
At the end of aging, each bottle is disgorged by us, then it receives the dose of expedition liquor that suits it best, the final touch in the elaboration of our cavas.
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