Egly-Ouriet was founded in the pioneering time of the grower Champagne movement. The domaine was built in the famed village of Ambonnay, with some parcels in Bouzy and Verzenay with a core focus in the single variety of Pinot Noir. They also happen to own a rare, old parcel of Pinot Meunier in Vrigny.
The Egly family was one of the only growers who originally declined the gadoux fertiliser in the 1970s. Followed by a strong drive to organic and biodynamic viticulture with low yields in vineyards since 1982 when fourth-generation Francis Egly took over the estate, establishing it as a reference point producer alongside with producers participating in the Les Artisans du Champagne association such as Larmandier-Bernier and Domaine Selosse.
Egly-Ouriet focuses on maximum ripeness, strong vineyard work with low yields and high percentages of reserve wine and finished with long élevage.
There are some new acquisitions and vines that have been inherited through Francis Egly’s wife, Yannick. These include vines in the villages of Trigny (just north of Reims) and Bisseuil (south of Ambonnay), which will be made into new cuvées for the future.
It is not by accident that this growth in production coincides with the full-time return of the Egly children to work at the domain. Charles, 28, has now returned to work in the vineyards and was joined in 2019 by his sister, Clémence, 23, who recently completed her wine studies in Dijon.
The Domaine only makes wines from its own vines of 11.7 hectares, almost 10 of which are designated Grand Cru, including 9.7 hectares situated in the Grand Cru villages of Ambonnay (7.7ha), Verzenay (1.6ha) and Bouzy (.6ha) and the 2 hectares of Meunier in the 1er Cru village of Vrigny, with all this fruit going into the bottling Les Vignes de Vrigny.
Yields are controlled at 35 - 45 hl/ha to preserve concentration and phenolic structure. The Egly family is one of the pioneers of organic farming in Champagne. Some biodynamic practices are used to treat vineyards and maintain balance.
Harvesting at the domain is always one of the latest in Champagne to achieve maximum ripeness from the old vines and low yield parcels.
Whole-bunch pressing is always preferred at the domain, they have recently installed refrigerated press pans to the press to immediately cool the must at pressing and a peristaltic pump so to handle the wines even more gently.
Fermentation occurs in both large stainless steel tanks and also oak barrels with only indigenous yeasts. Barrels are sourced from the famed Dominique Laurent in Burgundy from the Tronçais forest.
Dosage is kept at 1 to 3 grams only as the physical fruit ripeness is often balanced already. The wines are also bottled at no more than 5 atmospheres to ensure maximum flavour in the glass. Bottling is always without filtration.
All bottling are kept at the domain for at least 3 years before release.