'I wake up at six. I don't like to rush. I like to have a slow breakfast and read the newspaper. It takes me an hour and a half to leave the house. I used to be a coffee addict in my days as a medical student. I quit and I feel fabulous. Coffee is great. I think the greatest coffees are like wine, but they're so addictive. I travel four to five weeks a year between April and July. From August to April, I do no travelling at all - it's all about wine-making. I try to be at work no later than 8am. I usually work from 8am to 8pm, with a half-hour break in the middle. For lunch I have a quick meal at the winery, perhaps a sandwich. During the workday, meals are not important to me. My schedule is cyclical. It's all relative to the seasons. People think of Dom Perignon as an iconic representation of luxury in wines but tend to forget it all starts with mother nature, and I get closest to her during the grape harvest. I was born and raised in Champenois; seven generations of grape growers and wine makers. At the beginning of harvest time, you will see many people testing berry by berry, across the fields. Picking is a major criterion in achieving excellence in champagne. If you get it wrong in the first place, you cannot make up for it. It can begin as early as the end of August; traditionally it's around September 10. I walk through the various plots, looking and sampling here and there to get the right feel. It takes about three weeks of this testing and discerning for readiness before we start picking. There is a bit of science in measuring the fundamental ripeness of the fruit - similar in any production of fruit - measuring the sugar content, for example. But that doesn't say it all; in the end, the nose and the palate are more discriminating than any man-made apparatus for analysing tastes during the champagne-making process. It's about tasting the berries and knowing when the profile of flavours and fruitiness is right. There's an optimum time: not before, not after. I have a superstition: until a wine is made, I never comment on its quality. When we are in the vineyards, when we are picking and crushing, when the wine is fermenting in the vats, I never say, 'Wow, I'm blown away.' I try to be as focused as possible, without subjective comments. I taste at every stage: in the field, as fresh juice, as fermenting juice, and when it 'dries'. Last year was good but I have to confess it was challenging. One had to be very discerning in seeking out the good grapes, after which we could really achieve marvels. It was not an easy or naturally gifted year. People think we can see the effects of global warming. Frankly, I can't see it in Champagne. We have been growing through gloriously hot vintages. So far, if you look at the 20th century, the 1940s were the hottest decade on record; 1947 had the most extreme temperatures. There is a climate limit in latitude for grape growing; for a long time it has been Champagne. Purely in terms of climate, Britain is more marginal, being further north than Champagne, so we might say now that the limit could be Britain. Obviously, in terms of the planet, I'm very concerned about global warming. It is a fact, even if you cannot sense it physically. But in the particular case of Champagne, I'm not so concerned, because we'll adjust the viticulture. Whenever we go through a hot year, the most recent one being 2003, we've managed to make good wines. Great wine-making is sensible; it's not text-book formula. You have to adapt to the raw matter you are given. I know most of the better chefs on the planet as I've collaborated with many of them on champagne and food pairing. I know it's a privilege. I have been venturing into different types of cuisine and I'm going back to classic methods of respecting the ingredients. Very few chefs think of the overall harmony of the meal, which seems silly to me. A meal is a whole experience; it goes through highs and lows and tells a story. I think Joel Robuchon [who has a restaurant in both Hong Kong and Macau] is the man. I'm sure many people, including chefs, would agree. All vintages of [champagne] tell us a story. I believe it must have moments that are loud enough and moments of silence as well. Too many people are trying to make it loud. Loud in the end just becomes noise. I'm after the extra dimension. I look at competitive sport. Athletes work their whole lifetimes to gain that extra one-tenth-of-a-second lead. I'm after that in wine-making. I never bring work home; I prefer to keep later hours at work. At home, family is first. I have three boys. I try to give some time and love to my family because they are very supportive of what I do. I don't have any fancy hobbies - I don't play golf; I don't like to socialise much even though I could easily go out every night given my position. I don't have to sleep much but I do need to re-energise at home and gardening is the most relaxing thing. I'm in the process of restoring an 18th-century mansion, so that should keep me busy for a long while. I go to bed no earlier than midnight. Like many things, wine has to be shared. I do have a wine collection at home, which is always shared with friends. It's not that big, it cannot be big, because I'm drinking the wine as it comes in. It's in and out.'