Bonnaire

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Bonnaire creates rich, decadent champagnes with a focus on Chardonnay from the Grand Cru village of Cramant. It has been family owned and operated since its inception in 1932.

120 Rue d’Epernay, Cramant. +33 3 26 57 50 85

The Wines

For a Cote des Blancs champagne house, Bonnaire’s wines stand out for their richness and sumptuousness.  Yet the minerality and texture provided by the chalky soils of Cramant are unmistakably evident throughout the wines. 

Bonnaire Tradition NV

40% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir, 30% Meunier. The fruit comes from Cramant (Grand Cru), Cuis, Bergeres-les-Vertus (Premier Cru) and Fossoy. Vinified at cool temperatures in thermo-regulated stainless steel tanks to preserve primary aromas. Approximately 15% of the blend comes from reserve wines. Minimum two years’ ageing. The dosage is 9g/L.

Bonnaire Extra Brut Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs NV

100% Chardonnay from the Grand Cru village of Cramant. Vinified at cool temperatures in thermo-regulated tanks. Approximately 15% of reserve wines. Minimum of four years’ maturation. The dosage is 3g/L.

Bonnaire Brut Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs NV

100% Chardonnay from Cramant. Vinified at cool temperatures in thermo-regulated tanks. Approximately 15% of reserve wines.  Aged for a minimum of three years. The dosage is  8g/L.

Bonnaire Demi-Sec Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs NV

100% Chardonnay from Cramant. Vinified at cool temperatures in thermo-regulated tanks. Three years’ minimum ageing, with 15% of reserve wines. The dosage is 33g/L.

Bonnaire Rose NV

60% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir. Made with around 12% of Coteaux Champenois red wine, which gives the rose its colour and brings a light touch of tannin to the mouthfeel. Vinified at cool temperatures in thermo-regulated tanks. The dosage is 9g/L.

Bonnaire Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Vintage

100% Chardonnay from Cramant. Vinified at cool temperatures in thermo-regulated stainless steel tanks. Aged for a minimum of six years.  Only produced in the best vintages. The dosage is 8g/L.

Bonnaire Variance Blanc de Blancs

100% Chardonnay from Cramant (Grand Cru) and Bergeres-les-Vertus (Premier Cru). Produced since 1995. Vinified in oak barrels, followed by malolactic fermentation, and aged in 3-4 year-old barriques, this cuvee is the only Bonnaire wine that sees any oak during production. Five years’ minimum ageing. The dosage is 7g/L.

Bonnaire Ver Sacrum

100% Chardonnay from Cramant and Bergeres-les-Vertus. This is a relatively new wine to the range, having been first produced in 2005. Instead of ageing under a crown cap, natural cork is used to allow the wine greater development. Aged for a minimum of six years. The dosage is 6g/L.

Bonnaire Brut Grand Cru Prestige

100% Chardonnay. This non-vintage wine is made from the very best of Bonnaire’s Grand Cru Cramant parcels. Approximately 15% of reserve wines.  Vinified at cool temperatures in thermo-regulated tanks. Five years’ minimum ageing. The dosage is 6g/L.

Vineyards and Winemaking

The estate owns 22 hectares of vines, mainly Chardonnay and mainly in the Grand Cru village of Cramant. In the winery, all the wines are vinified in tank except the cuvee Variance, which is fermented in oak and then spends a portion of its ageing period in 3-4 year-old barriques. Malolactic fermentation is usually carried out across the range. They take the time to rest their champagnes for a period of three months or longer in the cellar after disgorgement, to allow better integration of the ‘liqueur d’expedition’ (which contains the dosage) into the wine.

History of the House

Bonnaire was founded during very harrowing times in France – the Great Depression was taking place throughout Europe, and World War II was only a few years away. Nevertheless, Fernand Bouquemont established the champagne house Bonnaire in 1932 in the Grand Cru village of Cramant. His decision to stop selling his grapes to the negociants was immediately vindicated - his first ever cuvee won a gold medal at the Concours General Agricole de Paris.

Following World War Two, Fernand’s son-in-law, Andre Bonnaire, joined the business.  Andre came from a family of winemakers, and he made great strides in the business through his focus on nurturing and developing the vineyards.
                           
The winery has been located on the outskirts of Cramant for about 25 years. The facilities and winemaking - for many years in the hands of Bouquemont’s grandson, Jean-Louis Bonnaire - are now supervised by his two sons, Jean-Etienne and Jean-Emmanuel. 

The wines of Champagne Paul Clouet are also vinified at the Bonnaire house since there are close family ties – Jean-Louis Bonnaire was married to Marie-Therese Clouet.