The Diebolt and Vallois families have a distinguished history in the Côte des Blancs. The Vallois family has been growing vines in Cuis since the 15th century; the grandfather of current proprietor Jacques Diebolt began making estate bottled champagne at the beginning of the 20th century. Champagne Diebolt-Vallois was created in 1960, when Jacques married Nadia Vallois and incorporated some of the vineyard holdings that belonged to the Vallois family into the Diebolt estate.
The vineyard holdings are spread over the villages of Cramant, Chouilly, Cuis, Oger and Epernay. Diebolt-Vallois were originally registered as a Récoltant-Manipulant but are now a Négociant-Manipulant. They own 13 ha of vineyards and purchase the crop from another 2-3 ha from another branch of the Vallois family. Many Champagne lovers have asked about the change to Négociant-Manipulant and its impact on the wines. For us the shift is a mere bureaucratic technicality (however irritating), since the farming and winemaking are totally unchanged. We love the wines today as much as ever, and David Schildknecht agrees:
"This is, incidentally, one of an increasing number of top estates to officially become negociants - trading the little letters "RM" on their labels for "NM" - as a means of expanding their production, but without sacrificing one iota of viticultural control: they merely purchase the fruit from vineyards they now farm that are in the extended family, in this case Nadia Vallois' paternal estate."
Jacques and Nadia are assisted in day-to-day operations by their children, Isabelle and Arnaud. The family produces four different non-vintage cuvees, including a Rosé and two vintage dated wines
Diebolt-Vallois is a quintessential example 'the new Champagne' - two venerable Champenois families producing superbly distinctive wines on a very small scale.