Hervé Jestin is seen as one of the great men in the Champagne region. He has been working on completely natural vineyards for decades. Initially he worked at the Philliponat quality house. He then brought Duval Leroy to the top. He is now the great man in the vineyards and cellar of Leclerc Briant.
Hervé produces its own Champagne on a miniscule scale. His first harvest was 2006. He made a total of 2610 bottles that year. To put that in perspective: the Champagne giants do similar numbers, but then per minute.
The grapes are purchased. Jestin buys the pinot meunier and pinot noir grapes from Vincent Laval in Cumières. The chardonnay grapes are purchased from David Leclappart in Trépail. Naturally everything is biodynamically cultivated. It may be stated here that they are only picked on "fruit days" according to the biodynamic calendar. With a traditional vertical press, the fruit is gently squeezed and Hervé "sinks" the juice at ambient temperature for 24 hours. This makes the juice almost clear. There is no thermal (cold) shock as is the case everywhere else.
The alcoholic fermentation takes place, also at ambient temperature, in oak wine barrels that are two harvests old. Because of this there is a minimal exchange of "wood taste". The wood from the wine barrels comes from the forest of Allier. Malolactic (lactic acid) fermentation follows after alcoholic fermentation. Then the young wine stays in contact with the yeast cells for 9 months in the barrel.