|Colombian by birth, in 1850 Edmond(o) de Ayala settled in the Champagne region - in the Chateau d'Au to be exact. |
The chateau was the property of the Viscount of Mareuil, who soon taught Edmond the subtleties of the champagne business. In due time, Edmond married the Viscount's niece, whose fabulous dowry included both the Cháteau d'Au and the superb vineyard around it. All the conditions were in place for the creation of a Champagne House. Thus Champagne Ayala from the Chateau d'Au came to be. Its notoriety spread fast, and quickly reached the shores of England.
When Edmond died, his three sons took over the business. In 1911 they suffered the "Vinegrowers Rebellion" - a revolt against the practices of certain unscrupulous Houses, who brought in grapes from outside of the region to be vinified and sold as "champagne". Even though Ayala was not on the blacklist (being totally innocent), it and the other Houses on the Boulevard du Nord in A were burned to ground by the angry mobs because there were no troops to defend them. The House was completely rebuilt and functioning by 1913. A public liability company was formed in 1922 that still exists today under the name "Champagne Ayala, Societe Anonyme". Unabled to cope with the global economic crisis of the 1930s, then House was sold to an English bank before being bought by a Champagne vineyard owner : Rene Chayoux.
René Chayoux so trusted and respected Jean-Michel Ducellier, his partner since 1948, that he appointed Ducellier as his successor at the head of his businesses and estate. An estate that was made all the more impressive by the acquisition in 1961 of the illustrious Chateau la Lagune, a Medoc Classified Third Growth in Bordeaux's Haut-Médoc region. Since 1968, Jean-Michel has with both affection and intelligence cared for the fortunes of Champagne Ayala and Chateau la Lagune. The House of Ayala, a family business, is one of the few to have remained independent. Jean-Michel and his son Alain Ducellier who is today at the head of the company, both run it with energy and enthusiasm. They devote themselves to the status of the House's name worldwide, and they proudly receive their clients at their superb Chateau de Mareuil-sur-Ae .