Deutz, formerly known as Deutz Geldermann,has its roots in Ay, one of Champagne’s historic and most renowned terroir.The house was founded in 1838 through the association of William Deutz with Pierre-Hubert Geldermann, both wine merchants from Aix-La Chapelle.Convinced that a fine vineyard was the cornerstone of great wines, Geldermann, a Champagne salesman, and Deutz, a negociant, started buying top quality plots and making wine. By combining their technical expertise, knowledge of markets and will to succeed, they developed the firm internationally.
When René Deutz and Alfred Geldermann inherited the business from their fathers in the late 1860s, sales of their Champagne had been consistently rising for years and even under René Deutz and Marie and Alfred Deutz-Geldermann’s sons in law, respectively René Lallier and Charles Van Cassel, Deutz was growing, taking its place among the great Houses of Champagne and becoming a founding member of the Syndicat des Grandes Marques.
Nevertheless, during the Great Depression, Marie Deutz Geldermann had to reinvest a large part of her considerable personal wealth into the company to avoid the disaster and chose a new commercial director to replace Charles Van Cassel and by 1934, a normal rhythm returned to the financial affairs of Deutz: 132,530 bottles sold, two thirds on the French market.
Antoher difficult year was 1938, just before world war second, when René Lallier died and his son, Jean Lallier had to get the House through the wary years, with no money to buy grapes, no bottles and above all no men to make the wine.
Deutz survived on 200,000 bottles a year up to the 1950s. In the 80s and 90s, Andrè Lallier had to organize the reconstitution of the champagne stocks: while maintaining many of the wine making techniques taught him by his father, André also implemented many technical upgrades in the winery – finer presses, a better tank room, and an improved disgorgement.
In 1988, Deutz formed a partnership with New Zealand producer Montana Wines to make sparkling wines in the Marlborough region of New Zealand and in 1993, the majority of the property was acquired by Louis Roederer’s group.
Over the years, the House has been rewardedwith silver, bronze and regional medals at Decanter’s annual World Wine Awards, while both its Brut and Rose styles of Champagne have received gold and silver awards at London’s prestigious International Wine Challenge.
The family still actively participates in the business: Jean Lallier, André Lallier’s son, still works in the House as Export Director.
Founded in 1838, Deutz is still situated in one of the region’s greatest villages, Aÿ, where the family – now rapresented by Jean Lallier, sixth generation descendant of founder William Deutz – owns 42 hectares vineyards and a magnificent residence in Bellepoque style.
In 1993 the House was taken over by another financial partner, Louis Roederer champagne House, though the two kept operating independently and have different styles and characteristics.
The House has also experimented a partnership with Beringer Wine Estates and a San Luis Obispo landowner to form the Californian sparkling wine producer Maison Deutz, but the estate didn’t produce the financial results expected and Deutz sold its interest in the company to the Californian winemaker, who rebranded the wine as Laetitia.
Nevertheless, inspite of the limited acreage, Deutz produces 1,4 million bottles per year, with more than half a million magnums and many more 75cl size bottles, ranking among the top six champagne houses in terms of quality.
The House produces both vintages and non vintages champagnes, along with the prestige cuvé “Amour de Deutz”, applying a policy of sustainable vineyard management: every plot is treated separately, according to its vigour and the specific situation, selecting only top quality grapes from 275 acres of vineyards in the finest crus of Champagne and slowly and carefully ageing them in Deutz’ chalk-walled cellars, between 60 and 180 feet below the vines.
Deutz cellar master is Michel Davesne, while Export Manager since 1996, year of the retirement of Andrè Lallier, is his son Jean Marc, member of the Deutz sixth generations.
Chairman and CEO is Fabrice Rosset, with 20-year sales and marketing expertise at champagne Louis Roederer.
Since its foundation in 1838 Deutz champagnes have been characterized by the 3 F:Finesse, Freshness & Fine.
Throughout its history Deutz has become the epitome of understated excellence and this is due to the work done by each generation, every one making the effort to develop the brand whilst maintaining many of the wine-making techniques and philosophies instilled since the early times: Deutz selects only top quality grapes, almost 80% of these coming from “Grand Cru” and “Premier Cru” villages , vinifies them in vats of stainless steel instead of wood, temperature controlled – some of them are completely frozen to imitate the winter, season in which the Champagne is transported – and avoids all oxidation.
Even off the press, grapes must show excellent balance, with an average potential alcoholic strength of 10,7° and 8 grams/litre of acidity.
The philosophy of the House is based on precision and patience, cellar master must retain only the best quality pressings from all grapes and each vat must contain the still wine from a carefully identified vineyard plot.
The champagnes are hence characterized by finesse, elegant vinosity and complexity, as it can be noted in Champagne Deutz Brut Classic: first released in 1994, this fine multi-vintage Champagne, blended from selected harvests, has been the latest step in the brand’s evolution, with its smooth
silky style and texture on the palate and the complexity and sophistication of a very fine wine.