Olivier Collin is frequently seen as a Champagne newcomer, but in fact the Collin family has been making wine in the small village of Congy since written records began. A leading voice in the ‘grower Champagne’ movement, Olivier has become one of the most exciting winemaking talents in the region.
But it almost was not to be. In 1987, Olivier’s father sold the company and began renting all the family’s vines to a large négociant. But after a life changing trip to Burgundy, Olivier was inspired to reclaim his family’s land and become a winemaker. He attended law school for eight years to prepare himself for the battle to win back the rights to farm his own land. By 2005 all 8.7 hectares of his family’s heritage vines had been retrieved.
Starting from scratch, Olivier set about rehabilitating the soil which had not been ploughed in eighteen years. He also decided to pioneer a different approach, eschewing Champagne’s typical multi-parcel, multi-vintage blends in favour of single vineyard expressions – an idea that was all but unheard of at the time. To this day, Ulysse Collin is the one of the only estates in Champagne to make all its wines this way.
All fermentations occur in oak barrels from Burgundy which is also incredibly rare. As is the amount of time Olivier allows his wines to mature; anywhere between 36 months to ten years. All of these factors, combined with Olivier’s incredible passion, make Ulysse Collin a world class producer.