The Lacourtes, my father’s side, and the Godbillons, on my mother’s side, began by growing grapes. Just like the generations before them, they sold all their crop to the big and famous champagne houses.
Was it a passion? Maybe... but more than anything else it was sheer hard work. As my grandmother used to say: ''we were often in the vineyards from 5 in the morning until 8 at night!". And the children would join them to help after school. A reason for living? Most probably... With the ultimate objective being the honour of buying a plot of vines as soon as they were able to.
In 1947, shortly after returning from the war, they began a new adventure: producing and marketing champagne under the names Lacourte-Labasse and Godbillon-Marie. They were soon filling their customers' car boots with bulk orders!
The first harvest from my parents was 1968. They gradually set up their business and established the Lacourte-Godbillon brand. At first it was no more than a few thousand bottles. Bottling and disgorgement would be done at the back of a courtyard... But the most important thing was my father's understanding that the best champagne was made only from top quality work in the vineyard. His whole career was dedicated to this ethos.
Richard and I took the big step in 2006 when we left our executive city jobs to come back to the vineyard of our home. This new wine making life has been a total revelation!
Lacourte Godbillon pictures