In the French countryside, decorated by tree-topped summits, hills speckled with peacefully wandering flocks and vast nourishing fields home to vigorous farms, grape vines were planted in the 17th century by the Cistercian Monks of the Clairvaux Abbey. Of the Abbey’s forty farms that colonised the forests, fields and vineyards of the countryside, the Cellier aux Moines in Colombé-le- Sec was home to the lay monks who made the Côte des Bar’s first wines.
Their effervescence was well known and these wines were called messire pétars meaning «explosive sire» as they made the bung plugs of the wine barrels pop. In 1911, the impetuous Gaston Cheq toiled to have the Aube region officially recognised under the Champagne appellation. This region, characterised by Jules Michelet as being «sober, pensive and of tameable spirit» is now the chosen land of great champagnes enjoyed around the world. Natural heirs to the traditions that run through their veins, the Calon-Egger family and their Monial Champagne brought back the sparkle to the Cellier aux Moines and the «spiritual wines» so cherished by Louis XIV.