‘Visionary’ young Champagne maker dies

Charles Doyard, who has been hailed as a “visionary” young winemaker in Champagne, has died very suddenly.

Doyard passed away last week at the age of just 31 having suffered a heart attack.

His father, Yannick, said in a short statement: “It is with great sadness I inform you of the sudden and tragic death of my son, Charles.

“In spite of our immeasurable grief, and in honour of Charles, his assistant Aurore and I will continue our work and honour our commitments, assisted by our entire staff.”

Charles was seen not only as an extremely talented winemaker but also a rising star in the region, and a founding member of ‘Les Artisans de Champagne’ – a group of 16 independent growers.

Describing his death as “brutal” and “unfair” the group commented: “We’ve not only lost a member of our group but we’ve lost a true friend, a fantastic ‘vigneron’ and a truly good person.”

The family domaine, based in Vertus at the southernmost tip of the Côte des Blancs, is largely Chardonnay focused, with 10 hectares to just one of Pinot Noir.

Doyard pushed not only the estate’s production during his work at the domaine but also expanded its export markets, which included a new distribution deal with Matthew Clark in the UK in 2015.

Simon Jerrome, purchasing director at Matthew Clark, added: “We’re extremely saddened by the news that the visionary Charles Doyard has passed away.”

“Charles maintained a strong vision in the wines he produced, upholding his house’s tradition, in order to preserve an authentic and prestigious range of Champagnes.”

“Our thoughts at this time are with his family”.

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