Get to know Rochet-Bocart – fatcork
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Get to know Rochet-Bocart

For Mathilde Devarenne of Rochet-Bocart, Champagne is more than her life’s work; it’s her legacy.

The family domaine was founded in 1956 by Mathilde’s grandparents Jacques Rochet and Claudette Bocart in the small village of Vaudemange. Located at the southern border of Montagne de Reims, the area is particularly revered for its high-quality chardonnay featuring pronounced minerality. In 1975, Jaques and Claudette began gradually handing over domaine operations to their son (and Mathilde’s uncle), Michel. After having put his mark on Rochet-Bocart and adding rosé Champagne to its portfolio, four decades after he himself took the reins, Michel passed the family business to Mathilde. 

Michel knew the domaine would be in good hands. When she was just eight years old, Mathilde was already a regular visitor to the tank room, and she impressed Michel with her ability at an early age to discern between grapes grown in each of the family plots simply by tasting them. 

After completing wine school in Avize, Mathilde landed a series of internships in Bordeaux, Italy and Champagne. During the latter, she worked most notably in Trépail with vigneron David Léclapart of Champagne David Léclapart, an early pioneer of biodynamic farming.

Mathilde assumed her role as head vigneron at Rochet-Bocart in 2015 and now tends grapes on the same 6 hectares of vineyards as her uncle and grandparents did before her. Guided by the wealth of wisdom passed down through the generations, Mathilde maintains many of her family’s time-honored traditions.

After the harvest, she employs her family’s Coquart press. The traditional wooden press uses gravity to carry the juices into tanks waiting below. From there, she individually vinifies the juice from the different parcels of the domaine with the help of small, thermoregulated vats. From the vignerons before her, she learned to block malolactic fermentation as a way of reducing acidity while at the same time imbuing the wine with mature, more complex characteristics. As it always has been done, Mathilde performs the riddling process using manual gyro palettes — a historic method that is quite rare in modern winemaking. Finally, she ages all of her cuvées for a minimum of five years before disgorging each bottle by hand. 

 

In addition to these family-honored tricks of the trade, Mathilde has also added some new techniques and personal touches that make the label authentically her own. Since taking over at Rochet-Bocart, Mathilde has more than doubled the domaine’s annual production from 10,000 bottles to somewhere between 22,000-25,000 bottles. 

Thanks to tutelage from David Léclapart, Mathilde also began implementing biodynamic processes in her vineyards. Today, she focuses on natural and sustainable cultivation methods, environmentally friendly viticulture, lunar calendar practices and overall respect for the land. 

 

This  sense of stewardship and pride is a common thread through all aspects of her leadership. With the help of only two part-time employees, Mathilde has her hands on virtually every part of the domaine from spending time in the vineyards and performing routine tasks in the cellar to managing sales and greeting visitors in her tasting room.

Mathilde’s efforts to both preserve her family traditions and put her mark on the domaine produce exquisite low-dosage cuvées that are a beautiful reflection of her skill and passion. And we are beyond thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with her. 

Shop the Rochet-Bocart collections here: 

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