« Solar Panel »  de Jean-Charles Gutner

— « Solar Panel » de Jean-Charles Gutner —


"In the 21st century, the battle is for Nature: respect for the land has never been so vital. It means lending the vine greater resilience, recreating as much diversity as possible, enriching the ecosystem with different species and charting our own course." — Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon, Cellar Master

Photos : Louis Roederer / Marie Flament


From diversity comes great wealth - a wealth of flavours and tastes, a wealth of expressions, profiles and sensibilities. For over 20 years, Louis Roederer has been working to preserve the diversity of its plant heritage, conserving its genetic variations and thereby the singularity of a unique taste that is part of its champagnes' identity.

Constantly seeking the most accurate expression of its terroirs, Louis Roederer started using sustainable and responsible winegrowing practices back in the early 2000s.
As Nature is continually adapting in response to changes in the climate, Louis Roederer created a conservation scheme for its plant heritage, the only one of its kind in France. By monitoring and then selecting the most resilient vines, the Champagne House is continuing the thread of an adapation process that has been ongoing for hundreds of years.


The Louis Roederer Champagne House has long been committed to sustainable and responsible agronomic practices.

In the late 1990s, Louis Roederer initiated a review of the future direction of its viticulture, which was led by the Rouzaud family and Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon. The regeneration of the soils with the discontinuation of chemical inputs soon led them to question the quality and longevity of the plant material used.

Photos : Louis Roederer / Marie Flament
Photos : Louis Roederer / Marie Flament

Faced with climate change that is forcing nature to adapt at an ever-increasing pace, Louis Roederer has sought to better understand and work with climate change in order to constantly seek the most accurate expression of the terroirs and craft the finest champagnes possible.

To respect the living ecosystem, Louis Roederer lends Nature a gentle hand, using the most respectful practices possible. These practices include the preservation of the vines’ genetic diversity through massal selection, the growing of rootstocks - the base plant that receives the vine graft - on the Louis Roederer Estates, pruning that respects the sap flow, maintenance of hedgerows and low walls, introduction of beehives, the presence of fruit trees (old varieties of peach, pear and apple trees), rotation of vineyards and fallow land, and the preservation of the vineyard plots as if they were a precious geological mosaic.


In keeping with this approach, more than 20 years ago Louis Roederer launched a programme to preserve its plant heritage, the Champagne House's ancestral natural heritage, whose uniqueness and diversity play a major role in the identity of its wines and the creation of their unique taste.

Massal selection, practised by Louis Roederer, consists of selecting vines with diverse genetic potential from a diversified population, from which a shoot, the "graft", is taken and grafted onto a rootstock. This procedure is carried out to preserve and perpetuate these specimens, in their greatest diversity.

Photos : Louis Roederer / Marie Flament Photos : Louis Roederer / Marie Flament Photos : Louis Roederer / Marie Flament
Photos : Louis Roederer / Marie Flament
"We had to regenerate the plant material and recover some of the singularity of our style through massal selection."

— Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon, Cellar Master


"This work is a living memory of the Champagne region and inspires our daily reflection, encouraging us to continue along the course we have set ourselves." — Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon, Cellar Master


Jean-Charles Gutner started exploring the French vineyards in 2015, seeking to capture the most striking matrix, the spring foliage shielding the future grapes. "Solar Panel", a photographic work exploring the biodiversity, was derived from this personal collection.

For Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon, "Solar Panel" is a means of capturing the story of a thriving ecosystem and recreating its beauty while highlighting the importance and potential of massal selection practised in the Louis Roederer vineyards.

Photos : Louis Roederer / Marie Flament
Photo : "Solar Panel" de Jean-Charles Gutner Photo : "Solar Panel" de Jean-Charles Gutner Photo : "Solar Panel" de Jean-Charles Gutner Photo : "Solar Panel" de Jean-Charles Gutner

An admirer of the work of the Louis Roederer Champagne House and its way of communicating its fascination and attentiveness to Nature, Jean-Charles Gutner met with Jean Baptiste Lécaillon. Their conversations led to this intimist project in which the photographer would explore the heart of the Louis Roederer Estates in order to reveal the vine in all its genetic diversity.


"We must reconnect with our roots, trust in the longevity of our Vitis vinifera, and continue writing our story by helping the vine to develop this amazing diversity, which creates nuances and complexity in the wines." — Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon, Cellar Master


Our work on biodiversity began in the 1990s; it continues to make progress and guide our future viticulture to ensure our vines will still be here in 60 years’ time. In 30 years, the entirety of the Louis Roederer vineyards will therefore be planted with vines selected entirely by us from our own nursery. Nobody else in the Champagne region is doing this.

Photos : Louis Roederer / Marie Flament
We have to look back at our history, draw on our past and reconnect with the vines that have survived a thousand years of climate variations.


Louis Roederer is thus charting its own course, drawing inspiration from the past with a view to the future. The preservation of our historical plant heritage gives us special hope, all the beauty of the ecosystem, its mystery and the diversity of flavours.

The ultimate quest, the purpose of all this work is almost a spiritual quest; "the crusade is in the name of taste".