Élise Dechannes had a peculiar start. Born in a family of Champagne winemakers, she decided she wanted to become a banker. After her studies at the École Supérieure de Commerce de Reims, Élise worked for 10 years in the insurance and banking industry instead of a vineyard. In 2005, three years after losing her mother Chantal Dechannes, Élise realized something: she wasn't happy anymore; she needed to turn her life around. That year, she quit her job and went back to school. Her new dream was to become a winemaker, like her parents and grandparents.
She rediscovered her childhood, when she used to help her mom and dad, Chantal and Roland, in the family wine estate of the Riceys (on the Côte des Bar, in the Aube department) they inherited from Élise's grandparents, Hubert and Germaine Dechannes. When she took ownership of the champagne house and the 5 hectares vineyard, in 2008, she chose her own name as her brand. The independent winemaker gradually switched to biodynamics. No more herbicides, no more pesticides, no more wastes… Of course, it was a lot of work and even more sacrifices, but Élise wanted to produce a high-quality wine, respectful of the environment and the customer.
That's also the reason why she joined the Terr'Avenir organization in 2016; a group of farmers and winemakers who pledged to lower the impact of their activity on the environment. Élise decreased the annual output of her estate to concentrate on a few cuvées only: there are now 15 000 bottles produced each year, compared to the 75 000 bottles her parents used to release before. The wines made by Élise Dechannes are smooth and balanced. In a word: alive, just like the winemaker herself.