In 1956, celebrated English author Nicholas John Turney Monsarrat and proprietor of Stoneleigh estate in New Zealand, discovered the vineyards of Champagne during a visit of the region. Passing through the vineyards and across the countryside, his trip led him to the edge of Ludes, in la Marne, where he came across an abandoned vineyard covering barely 5 hectares.
He immediately fell in love with it and on his return to London, he put pen to paper and featured his new passion in his latest novel, aptly named ‘The Visitor’. Four years later, he returned to the abandoned winery, this time with the keys to the house and the firm intention of bringing it back to life. He carried out major work in the winery and cellar, and renewed both the equipment and varietal range. In addition to the local Pinot Noir, he imported his taste for Chardonnay from England.
Despite a small production, his Champagne gradually found a spot with wine enthusiasts and were sold in the UK’s top ranking restaurants. The blend undeniably yielded a perfectly balanced, clean, mineral wine with lovely notes of citrus and bergamot.
Nowadays, the vintages signed Montsarrat are crafted following the same ambition, managing to combine elegance and freshness with care and precision. “Like a good novel, a good champagne must be made with one and only intention. It must convey an emotion” the author used to say.