1490 66th Street • Emeryville, CA 94608 • T 510-653-1040 • F 510-653-1050

De Marne/Val Frison




Low/No Sulfur Vinification No/Low till, regenerative viticulture

Valérie Frison (pictured) took over her family’s vines in the village of Ville-sur-Arce in 1997, initially selling the grapes to the local cooperative. Together with her then husband, Thierry de Marne, she began converting her vineyards to organic viticulture in 2003, and in 2007, the first vintage eligible for organic certification, they began to make small quantities of their own champagne. They released their first wines in 2010. The two made wine together for six years, but de Marne left in February of 2013, and today, Frison continues to run the estate on her own.

Valérie Frison owns a total of six hectares of vines in Ville-sur-Arce, in 2018 her son Thomas de Marne and his partner Florie Pilares returned to begin the process of taking over the estate. By the 2020 harvest, they have now taken full control and henceforth the wines will carry the same cuvée names (Goustan & Lalore) as well as two new bottlings Holistique which replaces Cuvée P, sourced from a single vineyard lying on Portlandian soils and l’éclos de la côte, a Kimmeridgian site sporting 50+ year old Pinot Noir vines. Eventually Thomas de Marne will replace Val Frison as the brand name. Their goal is to produce wines with as close to zero additions (sulfur, sugar, enzymes, etc.) as possible.

Most of Frison’s vines are pinot noir, with just 45 ares planted with chardonnay. As is typical for this area, Kimmeridgian soils dominate, although Frison draws a distinction between parcels that contain white clay and yellow clay (argile blanche and argile jaune). Two chardonnay parcels lie on Portlandian soil, and one of these—Les Cotannes—is bottled separately. All parcels are allowed to grow a natural cover crop, which is plowed in March to prevent the vines from having too much competition for nutrients, and intriguingly, a different set of plants naturally grows in each parcel, reflecting subtle differences in terroir.
— Peter Liem