It was 1978 when Andre Alllier-Deutz, fifth generation proprietor and Chef de Caves of Champagne Deutz of France, began a concerted international search for growing regions outside Champagne with opportunities to plant vineyards and make sparkling wines in the tradition of the House of Deutz. In 1981, Lallier-Deutz found what he was looking for in Arroyo Grande, California.

This small growing area, just three miles from the Pacific Ocean, combines rolling, well drained hills, gravelly, low-yielding soils and cool climate conditions (U.C. Davis Region I, 1800 degree days). Similar conditions prevail in the town of Ay, France, where champagne Deutz celebrated their 150th anniversary of production in 1988.

In 1982, the Home Vineyard of Maison Deutz was planted equally to Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc. Today this 160-acre vineyard produces all the fruit for Maison Deutz sparkling wines. The winery building and cellars, modeled after the Champagne Deutz gravity flow design, was completed in 1983. The winery released its first wine, a Brut Cuvee, in 1986.

Christian Roguenant, who was assistant winemaker at Champagne Deutz for two years, was asked by Andre Lallier-Deutz in 1986 to become winemaker at Maison Deutz. Roguenant, who had tasted the wines from the 1984 and 1985 harvests at Maison Deutz, was intrigued by this "New World" venture. In August, 1986, he left France and moved to California.

Maison Deutz "methode champenoise" sparkling wines are made in the Deutz tradition. Most of the work, including harvest, loading the Coquard basket press, riddling and disgorging, is done by hand. The winery employs small vat vinification and extended aging on the yeast. A French Champagne yeast was selected by Andre Lallier-Deutz and is used for both the primary and secondary fermentation. The wines also undergo 100% maloactic fermentation. After a minimum of eighteen months en tirage, the wines are hand riddled and hand disgorged.

Maison Deutz / 453 Deutz Drive / Arroyo Grande, CA 93420 / 805-481-1763

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