In 1991, Carol Duval-Leroy, the wife of Jean-Charles Duval-Leroy and mother of their three young sons, found herself on the premature death of her husband assuming responsibility for their family-owned Champagne House. In the last twenty years this far-sighted woman has guided the House smoothly into the Third Millennium.
Established in 1859, the House of Duval-Leroy is situated in the premier cru village of Vertus on the southern end of the Cotes des Blancs. Successive generations have helped build up this impressive family estate which now emcompasses 200 hectares supplying one third of their annual grape requirements. Having control of so much of their own fruit is quite rare in Champagne and gives the house an advantage in both quality and consistency.
Through her character and her approach, Carol Duval-Leroy asserts her standpoint and her femininity. She has always been convinced that the excellence of Duval-Leroy stems from three things: exercising care over the assets, striving for perfection, and passing on excellence. She has added an extra touch of femininity with her Winemaker, Sandrine Logette-Jardin. A trained oenologist, Sandrine was appointed in 1991 to the post of Quality Manager, where she enabled Duval-Leroy to become the first wine company in the world to be awarded the ISO 9002 certification (covering expertise in quality, production and after-sales service).
Having become Head Winemaker, Sandrine Logette-Jardin, the only woman of that rank in Champagne, has gone on to develop batch vinification which permits the increase in the range of wines in the blends, and, at the same time, has renewed the barrel stock by conducting a rigorous choice of wood, charring and cooperage. This work is detailed and exacting, in the constant search for perfection. Carol Duval-Leroy and Sandrine Logette-Jardin wish to create champagnes in their image, both elegant and feminine. Together they have used a fresh, innovative approach as opposed to the standard methods to create their exceptional Prestige cuvee: Femme de Champagne . Produced only in exceptional vintages and from 100% Grand cru fruit, it is testament to what the house can achieve.
The House style is one of elegance, minerality and purity. These are the qualities which the House of Duval-Leroy have created, in getting the very best out of the sensitive and demanding chardonnay grape. Of a pure and fragrant complexity, it is the basis for the excellence of all the blends. Each year they taste close to 250 vats, making 15 cuvees from up to three Champagne grape varieties and from forty different vineyard sources. Maturation takes place in the silence of the cellars at 12 degrees for 3 years in the case of non-vintage cuvees and not less than 10 years for Femme de Champagne.