Alfred Gratien S.A.S., France
Outstanding products from Champagne and the Loire valley
Viticulture along the Loire and in Champagne
In 1864, 23-year-old Alfred Gratien turns a small plot of land near Saumur into the cornerstone of the Alfred Gratien winery. An old tunnel left over from limestone quarrying serves as the wine cellar for his young business venture. The good reputation of Saumur’s wines goes back to the Middle Ages thanks to the region’s chalky soil and ideal climate. Gratien starts growing vines along the Loire and at the same time opens a second “compagnie” 320 km away in Champagne in the northeast of the country. Ten years later, Alfred Jean Meyer, a wine lover from Alsace, becomes part owner of the company and takes over the winery when Gratien dies in 1885.
Gratien’s special fermentation process
At the company’s site in Champagne, it uses its own special process to transform highquality wines into champagne. First fermentation of the carefully selected grapes takes place only in oak barrels which can hold 228 litres of liquid. To preserve the original character of the Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay wines are used as the base. This process does not comprise malolactic fermentation, i.e. the breakdown of acids by adding other ingredients, resulting in a champagne with a unique flavour.
Quality that stands the test of time
In 2000, Henkell & Co. acquires a qualified majority stake in the tradition-rich company. The holding Alfred Gratien S.A.S. comprises the exclusive champagne cellars Alfred Gratien in Epernay and the sparkling wine and crémant producer Gratien & Meyer in Saumur. Its brands include Gratien & Meyer Crémant de Loire A.O.C. Brut, Gratien & Meyer Cuvée Flamme Brut, Champagne Alfred Gratien Brut Classique, Champagne Alfred Gratien Cuvée Paradis and the non-alcoholic Festillant. These noble names continue to place their trust in traditional manufacturing methods and win praise from the world's most discerning champagne and sparkling wine experts time and again. Alfred Gratien’s words are still the heart of the company’s ethos: “I have always been of the opinion that champagne should be to wine what haute couture is to fashion.”