12 winemakers to watch in Champagne

Denis Bunner (33)

Before joining Bollinger last summer as assistant chef de caves, Alsace-born Bunner worked for a decade as head of oenology for the Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC), which, among other responsibilities, saw him participate in the implementation of the region’s guide to sustainable viticulture.

With a degree in oenology from Reims University under his belt, Bunner works alongside chef de caves Gilles Descôtes at Bollinger, who became the house’s cellar master last July. In his role, Bunner deals with everything from grape supply to the logistics of shipping bottles. While he specialises in the technical side of winemaking, he can also be called upon to lead seminars for Master of Wine students.

Having been a member of the Union Des Oenologues de Champagne since 2008, Bunner admits that Bollinger’s savoir-faire and the quality of its offering caught his eye years ago. “Working for Bollinger offers so many opportunities. I’m currently involved in the restoration of the house’s old wines, which is the kind of project that comes around once in a career and allows me to better understand the Bollinger style that has been handed down through generations,” says Bunner, who participates in a large number of the tastings required to develop a new cuvée.

“My mission is to support Gilles Descôtes in his endeavours from grape to glass by showing respect for the terroir, keeping winemaking methods as simple as possible and always moving forward, for you start regressing if you don’t progress,” says Bunner.

One Response to “12 winemakers to watch in Champagne”

  1. Stan Brody says:

    While no doubt each of these talented wine makers, merit some mention, I note with interest, even perhaps some disappointment, that this article follows the “Wine Spectator philosophy”… the great the bucks spent on advertizing… the great the ratings… a smatttering of credit to the contribution to Champagne of the winemaking abilities of the very sensational small grower producers would have been appreciated.

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