Founded in 1860, Ayala is one of the longest-established Champagne Houses.
Its Spanish name, unusual in Champagne, derives from Edmond de Ayala (1831-1902), grand-grandson of Don Antonio de Ayala y Vergara, a Spanish aristocrat, who in 1750 was appointed Chancelor (Finance Minister) of New Grenada (now Colombia) by King Ferdinand VI of Spain.
Edmond’s ancestors bequeathed him with a sense of excellence and a taste for adventure that drove him to settle in Aÿ when invited by the Viscount of Mareuil to learn the business. There he fell in love with the Viscount’s niece, the beautiful Miss Gabrielle d’Albrecht.
As the dowry for their wedding in 1860, he receives the magnificent Château of Aÿ as well as some very prime vineyards located in Aÿ and Mareuil sur Aÿ. The love story marks the beginning of this great Champagne House.
Since then Ayala developed rapidly in Great Britain thanks to Fernand de Ayala, Edmond’s younger brother, who in 1863 settled in London where he mixed with British aristocracy and introduced the House’s unique flavour profile to British connoisseurs, notably with the 1865 vintage that had a very low dosage for the time (22g/l).
In 1882, Ayala was one of the 18 founder members of the Syndicate of the Grandes Marques and by the 1920s the House produced over a million bottles each year, ranking amongst the top brands in Champagne.
Before the 2nd world war Ayala was also official supplier to the royal courts of England and Spain.
In 2005, Ayala was purchased by Société Jacques Bollinger, still owned by the Bollinger family.
Based in the Grand Cru of Aÿ, at the heart of the great champagne vineyards, Ayala produces superior wines known for their freshness, elegance and low dosage.
The House is headed by Hadrien Mouflard who was appointed Managing Director in 2012. Prior to that Mouflard was Administrator at Bollinger.
In 2007, the House invested in a brand new small stainless steel tanks that allowed Ayala to improve significantly the quality of its cuvées.
Ayala is today a “small” great house, artisan of champagne-making. The origin of the grapes, the selection of only the very best juice (the cuvée), a special gift for blending, long ageing in the cellars and a true passion for wine : these are the elements that guarantee the quality of Ayala’s champagnes.
Ayalas’s style is all about freshness and lightness. Ayala pioneered the movement for dry champagnes and continues to preserve the purity and elegance in all their wines.
Low dosage remains part of the house’s philosophy together with an important role of chardonnay in the blends.
As a result Ayala’s champagnes are popular for their precision, delicacy, freshness and elegance.
Caroline Latrive was appointed cellar master of Ayala in 2011, replacing Nicolas Klym who has been the chef de cave for over 25 years.
Ayala champagnes are above all wines. That is why the back labels give all the important information about the cuvées as well as the date of disgorgement, wich enables the aficionados to better manage their cellar.