Telmont — A Personal Endeavour

A Personal Endeavour

If there is one thing that life has taught me to date, it is that there are many different ways to achieve the same goal; many routes to the same path.

Champagne Cellars, Maison Telmont | © Eli Ankutse — 2022



© Eli Ankutse — 2022

Sounds stoic in essence, but it’s something we’re seeing more of in recent times as great minds & hearts work together to help solve some of the world’s most pertinent issues — of which there are many.

One particular issue is that of the environment — our home — which has been subject to neglect and maltreatment for generations. The way I see it is quite simply like this; if we can do better then we should — and we certainly can do better. Taking this task on as his own personal charge is Ludovic du Plessis, who has turned his expertise in the champagne space and passion for change into an extreme commitment by purchasing his own Champagne house, essentially being the change he wants to see.

This challenge is monumental, but he does it all, as he so eloquently puts it,

“In the name of Mother Nature”



© Eli Ankutse — 2022
© Eli Ankutse — 2022

“At the heart of Telmont lies three fundamental values, deeply rooted in the vineyard: humility, courage, and loyalty.

There’s no doubting the depth of Ludovic’s intention or charisma, but what lies ahead him is certainly no easy journey, with champagne rooted in a history of process that has led to continued success.

But as far as beginnings go, he has certainly chosen well, searching long and hard before finding the perfect champagne House to acquire, Champagne Telmont. A Maison historically equipped to showcase his vision for change and prove to other champagne contemporaries that change was not only possible, but achievable in a way that their audience will embrace. By audience I am referring of course to the legions of champagne loyalists, loyalist to the jus and loyal to tradition, one that hasn’t failed them in ages past and one if anything they don’t feel the need to change – at least not yet anyway.

© Eli Ankutse — 2022



Ludovic du Plessis (left) Bertrand Lhôpital (right) | © Eli Ankutse — 2022

Ludovic, or Ludu as he is more fondly known, lives the life he speaks, forgoing the option to drive from Epernay to Maison Telmont, to ride his electric bike from the station.

“He even rides it when it rains,” Telmont Cellar Master Bertrand Lhôpital tells me as we examine their organically grown vines at their home in Epernay. An integral part of the Telmont story, Bertrand took over as head winegrower at Maison Telmont in 1998 from his father Serge, and has a strong focus on viticulture, with a history of herbicide-free vine-growing already present. As Cellar Master he is also responsible for the assemblage, blending the wine to curate the Maison Telmont signature flavour profile & identity. Like many champagne houses ultimately their end goals are similar – to make the best champagne possible — the key difference here is they activley acknowledge that this doesn’t have to come at the expense of the environment.

A large part of achieving this goal is encouraging biodiversity and building towards 100% of their vineyards organic certified by 2025.

“2500 shrubs will be planted over the next three years to provide “insect hotels” preserving species diversity and promoting sustainable carbon binding.”



The Chef at Maison Telmont | © Eli Ankutse — 2022
Telmont Sulphate-Free Champagne | © Eli Ankutse — 2022

It has been hard journey but they are making progress.

Solutions such as using thinner glass to reduce the energy wastage sound like a simple enough concept in theory. But then reducing the thickness without compromising the integrity of the bottle is a very fine matter indeed. It’s something they are still solving, but when successful, could change the way all champagne houses bottle their wines.

One change that is much more forthcoming is the use of green glass for all their cru, including the Rosé, where traditionally clear glass is used to show off the delicate differences in colour. Unlike clear glass, green bottles can be made from 85% recycled glass and is 100% recyclable, so it is a compromise well worth making.

Leonardo Dicaprio with Ludovic du Plessis

Yes, it is a process, but year-on-year Ludu and his Maison Telmont eco-champagne army are marching on towards their goals. So much so in fact that in 2022 vocal environmentalist Leonardo Dicaprio decided to invest in the vision, becoming a minority shareholder in the Telmont Champagne House.

It’s true that there are many routes to any destination; champagne Telmont have chosen theirs and while it certainly is arduous, it’s one we’ll all no doubt be thanking them for taking in the future.

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