Based in its elegant building on Avenue de Champagne in Epernay that includes a modern champagne bar, Boizel is a relatively small and low-key house for champagne connoisseurs. It is part of Lanson-BCC, yet it is still run by its founding family, the Boizels, who are also shareholders of the group. Boizel champagnes can’t be found in supermarkets and most are sold B-2-C and via specialized wine merchants.
Auguste Boizel was a pastry chef in Étoges, a vine-growing village in the Côte des Blancs. In 1803, he married Julie Martin, a descendant of a long line of vine growers established in Aÿ since the 16th century. Together, they decided to devote themselves and invest everything into the great champagne adventure and founded their house in 1834. Unusual for the time, the house bore the names of both husband and wife, Boizel-Martin. They were among the firsts to apply a label on their bottles, and created fine champagnes with a reputation that gradually grew in France and abroad.
In 1871, their son Edouard took over the helm of the company that took the name Boizel Père & Fils (Father and Sons). He too married, in 1865, a lady from Aÿ, Adèle Camuset, of a family that also had a Champagne house. Together they added their touch to the style of the house by reducing the dosage of their champagne that became brut.
In 1918, Edouard’s son Jules succeeded him in at the helm of the business. With his wife Louise, they concentrated on refining their non-vintage brut champagnes. This enabled the house to be the suppliers to great Paris’ establishments such as Maxim’s and le Royal Monceau. Jules also grew the exports, to Belgium and Switzerland, and even to Australia.
In 1945, René Boizel took over the company that had suffered from the crisis of 1929 and WW2. Supported by his Dutch wife Erica, he devoted the first years to rebuilding the stocks and then reconquering key export markets. They even developed a catchy slogan: “Avec Boizel, la vie est belle” (“With Boizel, life is beautiful”).
In 1972, following the sudden deaths of René and his son Eric, his daughter Evelyne and her husband Christopher returned to Champagne to learn the wine business. Under their leadership, Boizel gained new momentum, and in 1976 and 1977, it became the official Champagne of the F2 and F3 championships in Italy.
In 1994, Evelyne and Christophe joined forces with Bruno Paillard and Philippe Baijot to create the Boizel Chanoine Champagne Group, which would later become Lanson-BCC, Champagne’s second-largest player. The group gave new energy to Boizel and a modern winery while preserving its strong family identity.
In 2019, the sixth generation of the Boizel family took over, with brothers Florent and Lionel becoming president and vice president. Taking advantage of their previous experience abroad and in France, they continue the family tradition of elaborating fine champagnes, while increasing their reputation.
Vineyard and Production
The house owns 6 ha and sources the rest of the grapes from vine growers in all the subregions of Champagne to produce half-a-million bottles per year. Boizel only uses the cuvée to craft its champagnes. Although most of the wines are fermented in steel vats, in vintage champagnes a small percentage of them go through oak barrels for extra complexity. All the non-vintage champagnes are aged for at least three to four years, and a few additional months after disgorgement for the sugar in the dosage to properly mingle with the wine, before being dispatched all over the world.
The style of this house, just like its identity, is traditionally Champenois, elegant and complex, with a notable pinot noir character and a distinctive supple, creamy texture.
They have a comprehensive range with all the cuvées you may need. The non-vintages include brut, zero dosage, demi-sec, rosé, blanc de blancs, and blanc de noirs. In addition to their vintages, and the renowned prestige cuvée Joyau de France (vintage), also available in rosé and blanc de blancs, they introduced Cuvée Sous Bois, a vintage champagne entirely vinified in oak. Their BSA¬–Brut Réserve–is very approachable and easy to drink, already with this distinctive creamy texture, but Blanc de Noirs is my favorite, in fact, one of my favorite in this category. I remember sticking to it during a beautiful and variegated champagne and Culatello ham pairing held at Boizel when this cuvée shined.