Get a Peek Inside Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's New Champagne House in France
Set amid the low rolling hills of Champagne, the small French village of Mesnil-sur-Oger has increased its population of 1,127 by one: Brad Pitt.
The actor will release the first bottles of his new Fleur de Miraval champagne—a business endeavor he entered into and continues to operate with his ex-wife, Angelina Jolie—this Thursday, and PEOPLE can exclusively reveal a sneak peek at his new champagne house in the village!
While the exact location is being kept private, it is no secret why Pitt chose Mesnil. Registered as a Grand Cru, its delimited 2,000 acres are among the most prized in Champagne. Chardonnay, as they say in France, is king and Mesnil's parcels — home to marques such as Launay, Peters and Krug — are among the highest valued agricultural fields in the world.
Krug, for example, is located in the center of town and keeps its house and 4-acre parcel guarded behind high walls and iron gates.
Fleur de Miraval's new home is a large, whitewashed building near the village center, discreetly indicated by only one black lettered wall sign. Inside the space is tranquil with much emphasis on light and French oak.
"It's close to the house of the Peters family", who are partners in the business, explains one local.
Though public visits are currently unavailable, they will eventually be available by prior appointment.
Partnering with the Peters family, owners of 45 acres in Mesnil, and the Perrin family, Pitt's longtime partners in winemaking, the actor has engaged in a five-year long project to create a world-class rosé champagne. The process is laborious, requiring several years of experimentation, before three more aging in cellars.
After an advance tasting last week, wine professional Andreas Larsson posted an Instagram post reviewing "the Champagne that everybody talked about, but no one has tasted yet."
"A ground-breaking style," Larsson, who was selected the World's Best Sommelier in 2007, continued praising the champagne for its "notion of youthful red fruity freshness."
"It shows a very gentle bright rosé color and a vivid mousse with fine bubbles. The nose starts out elegantly – layered and nuanced with chalky notes, fresh hazelnut, marzipan, fresh butter, pink citrus and lemongrass." The Pinot Noir grapes, which offer the wine its distinctive pink shade, impart an aroma of crushed raspberry, cherry and gingerbread, according to Larsson.
Describing, "great flavor intensity," he rates the wine 95/100, placing it one of the three top champagnes he has encountered in his career.
"For me champagne conjures up feelings of celebration, quality, prestige and luxury," Pitt told PEOPLE in August. "But rosé champagne is still relatively unknown. Backed by our success with Miraval in Provence, I wanted to try to create the defining brand of rosé Champagne, focusing all our efforts on just this one color."
Created by the 'saignée' method Fleur de Miraval results from a five-year long secret project, which was revealed last January.
"The result is spectacular and I'm very proud of it," adds Pitt. Once particular to Provence, saignée is the preferred method of creating rosé, forging a bolder wine with by 'bleeding' pressed grape juice away from the mash before contact with seeds and stems darken its juices. It has ancient origins, is demanding and has devotees among finer winemakers in the Loire, Rhone and Napa regions.
In addition, one additional 'luxury' has been afforded Fleur de Miraval. While most houses age Champagne in stainless steel vats, the Pitt-Perrin-Peters collaboration is aged in 5,000-liter barrels of French oak. As with whiskey or finer wines, this allows a soft diffusion of flavors between the wine and wood.
In addition to the new Champagne, Pitt has Miraval rosé, now in its sixth year of production. In 2019, Pitt added two new premium rosés: Studio in January, and in May, he personally introduced Muse to guests at a Cannes post-screening party for Once Upon A Time In Hollywood.
"Miraval isn't a 'celebrity' wine for me," Pitt said in August. "Above all, it's a wonderful, exceptional estate that I fell in love with, and that I continue to invest in to make one of the finest estates in Provence."
Pitt and Jolie discovered Miraval in 2008 and finalized the purchase in 2012. While speculation concerning the 1,200-acre property and its wines has raged after the couple's 2016 separation, sources have persistently told PEOPLE the property is secure, viewed "as an investment for their children."
Pitt's move into the developing field of premium wine comes at a price. Fleur de Miraval, offered in a limited first edition bottling of 20,000, will hit shelves at approximately $390 per bottle, which makes it comparable in price to an increasingly crowded field of celebrity champagnes.
Early last month, Idris Elba announced an unusual limited partnering with Sanger Champagne in the village of Avize. The actor is curating a line of wines flag-shipped by Porte Noire, a wine made through a cooperative effort of professional growers and students of the local agricultural college.