Billecart-Salmon is a Champagne house located in the village of Mareuil-sur-Aÿ in northern France, founded in 1818 after the marriage of Nicolas François Billecart and Elisabeth Salmon. Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier all feature in the house cuvée.
The range is broad, encompassing a Brut Reserve and Rosé, Extra Brut, Demi-Sec, Brut Sous Bois, Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru and the Cuvée Nicolas François Billecart. The pinnacle of the collection is the vintage Le Clos Saint Hilaire, a blanc de noirs Champagne from vines planted in 1964. The grapes come from a single-hectare plot, which is isolated and enclosed within a wall of stone (or a clos). It is aged in small Burgundian barrels and no more than 7000 bottles are produced each year.
In the vineyard, Billecart-Salmon uses some biodynamic principles and eschews the use of pesticides and herbicides. Yields are kept low to increase the quality of the grapes. In the winery, the juice is racked twice – a practice that was revolutionary for Champagne when the house began doing it. Dosage is typically low, and if it is not needed in one particular year, it is simply not used. The wines age underground within the Billecart-Salmon limestone cellars in oak barrels, the oldest of which are reserved for the grand cru cuvées.