Located in the heart of the Champagne region on the prestigious Montagne de Reims, the Arlaux estate has been in the family since the 12th century. Since 1826, Arlaux has produced Premier Cru champagnes exclusively from the first pressing (the Tête de Cuvée) that are aged for four to ten years before release. Today, the Arlaux vineyard is one of the select few French vineyards to maintain pre-phylloxera Meunier vines.
The winemaker at Arlaux leans on their pre-phylloxera Pinot Meunier grapes in the blend, accounting for 60%, followed by 30% pinot noir and 10% chardonnay. Aged 4-10 years before release. Arlaux is sold in Michelin star restaurants around the world, but their reputation really soared after Robert Parker blind tasted 50 of the best NV Champagnes on the market. His top 3 in order, #1 Arlaux followed by Bollinger & Taittinger.
In 838 AD, well over 1000 years ago, all earnings of the powerful Abbey of Saint-Remi were written down in an official register called the Polyptych. These ancient records show that the local peasants (serfs in all actuality) working for the monks were even then producing wine for profit. The vineyards were from the former property of an important Roman soldier named Virius. That name, in time, would become the village of Vrigny.
As early as 1320, the name Arlaux appeared in the margin of a document mentioning a transaction of the Abbey of Saint-Remi concerning the vinage (wine making) and the payment of the tithe.
In 1792, the Royal Abbey of Saint-Remi was seized and sold as national property. Nicolas Arlaux then acquired the vineyards and lands that the family had already been cultivating for several centuries under the monks’ rule.
However, it was not until 1826, one year after the coronation of Charles X, the last King of France that Jean Arlaux decided to produce his first bottles of sparkling wine. He had no idea of knowing that a century later, champagne would represent the totality of production, thus replacing the red and grey wines which had filled the coffers of the Abbey of Saint-Remi.
For more than 15 generations the Arlaux family has passionately maintained the land that, in the 1950’s, Boris Vian the poet had called “the center of the world” (Le nombril du Monde)…a simple patch of vineyards plunging its roots into the depths of History.