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The 33-year-old Julian Gout will be the new Chef de Caves of Champagne Ayala from 1 November. The local has already gained a lot of experience at the houses Selosse, Taittinger and Henri Giraud. He has already been deputy to the outgoing cellar master Caroline Latrive for the past four years. His goals are "continuity in the fresh and elegant style of the Ayala house", but he also wants to push the organic conversion and strengthen the social responsibility of the company. In addition, there are projects that he initiated partly with his predecessor, such as the enlargement of the fermentation cellar and experiments with vinification in several containers.

Gout said in an interview that the main goal for the conversion to organic cultivation was "to protect my health as a winemaker". He also noted that in the very hot year of 2022, plots that had been farmed organically on a trial basis for some time had lower pH levels than others with the same yields, resulting in fresher base wines.

"We have to try to achieve environmental benefits in all our projects. All the projects are important, whether it's getting rid of plastic bottles for the work teams in the house, going organic or renovating a semi-underground tank for reserve wines that will allow us to save energy," Gout continued. Because Ayala is a small house and everything is done on site, he can continue to "take more time to develop the wines, not use fining and only a little sulphur." Ayala Champagnes are known for little or no dosage.

(al / source: vitisphere; photo: Champagnes Ayala)

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