Since its beginnings with the Romans, Champagne has been known as the beverage of royalty, and to this day it is the world’s most iconic sparkling wine. It is extremely important to the Champagne region (and indeed to France itself) that ONLY sparkling wine from the Champagne region and made in the méthode champenoise may be called Champagne. This distinction has been fought for overtime, and today is guarded with all the force of the law and the immense French pride in this treasure of a wine region.
The famous mineral-rich soils and relatively cool climate of this legendary region help to produce perfectly balanced sparkling wines of all styles, from blends or single varietal wines of the three principal grape varieties: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Historically, several large houses have dominated Champagne production, but devotees of the bubbles know to look for the names of the smaller, family run houses who have been producing impeccably terroir-driven Champagnes year in and year out for centuries.
We partner with one such family, Champagne Drappier, founded over 200 years ago. Georges Collot, the grandfather of the present heads of the house, began planting Pinot Noir ahead of his time back in the 1930’s. Today Monsieur Collot’s grandchildren run the business with respect for the legacy and the land: Michel Drappier is head winemaker, Andre keeps a watchful eye over the organically farmed vineyards and Charline runs the commercial side. Drappier is responsible for rescuing the region’s forgotten grape varieties of the region, which we will be able to use in our blending. Their low-dosage, low-sulfite champagnes highlight their historic terroir, and are considered among the best in France.
When not making wine, we’ll taste with some of the world famous producers in their deep underground caves, experience the more spiritual side of Champagne on our personal guided tour of the world famous Reims Cathedral, take in the rich history on our visits to some of the region’s pivotal World War I and II battlefields, and of course share once in a lifetime meals accompanied by incredible old vintage Champagne in the beloved local restaurants. And don’t forget, Burgundy and Paris are just a brief high-speed train ride away!