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Solemme, France

Olivier Langlais was born into the world of Champagne but it took him a while to find his place.

He inherited prime land in the Montagne de Reims area but he also inherited his father’s position as head of the local cooperative, a small body made up of 5 vignerons, created during the uncertain post-war years. The commercial life was not for him and he felt like a fish out of water, so he gave it up to devote his time to his vines. He took over from his father in 2006 and began the long process of building Solemme: 6 hectares of Premier Cru vines grown organically (certified since 2018) and tended meticulously using very precise biodynamic practices. Keen to get back to nature, Olivier constantly seeks to improve the cultivation techniques to give back to the soil and promote the harmony of the vine with its natural environment.


With vineyards planted between 1957 and 2018, Olivier believes that it takes more than basic biodynamic practices to produce good grapes. In order to stimulate and nourish the soils of his vineyards, he uses compost teas and green manure as well as alfalfa. There are no compost producers in Champagne so he makes his own as he finds it illogical to use organic matter from outside the region in his vineyard. This compost nourishes the whole of the ecological chain from earthworms up and builds up the vines’ immunity. Olivier has reaped the benefits of his work. In 2017, his vines were spared the outbreak of rot which affected much of the region. The increased biodiversity of the soil has even made the grapes good enough to eat, not usually the case in Champagne.


In the cellar, Olivier believes in minimal intervention. He uses stainless steel and doesn’t chaptalize, filter or cold stabilize. In order to let the terroir express itself, he favours a pure style of Champagne with minimal dosage and no malolactic fermentation. The wines are disgorged in accordance with the lunar cycle (in the morning when the moon is ascending) and only on fruit days. He doesn’t use SO2 or a traditional liqueur de dosage, preferring to use organic grape must for disgorging. For the most part, Olivier’s wines are vintage-specific rather than blends of different years.

  • Solemme is very much Olivier’s vision of Champagne – 6 hectares of organically cultivated Premier Cru in the prime Montagne de Reims.
  • He doesn’t chaptalize, filter or cold stabilize, or allow MLF. He doesn’t use SO2 or a traditional liqueur de dosage, preferring to use organic grape must for disgorging.
  • By choosing organic viticulture and non-interventionist winemaking, Olivier has left himself nowhere to hide. His wines are pure and precise expressions of variety and terroir, and glorious for it.