In 1986, Eric Dhondt and Edith Grellet decided to stop selling off their grapes to negociants and started Dhondt-Grellet. Their focus on biodynamic farming has translated into vivid champagnes from great parcels across the Côte des Blancs.
The domaine is around 6ha of Grand Cru and 1er Cru vines, with an average age of 40 years. Their son Adrien is now at the helm, together with his sister Alice. Inspired by the great white winemakers of Burgundy, Adrien is taking his family’s wines to another level, focusing on chardonnay and terroir. The quality of Adrien’s cuvées was recognised last year when he was voted Winemaker of the Year 2017 in the Trophées Champenois.
Selosse “Junior”, Guillaume, has created two stunning single vineyard cuvées. Au Dessous De Gros Mont is from Guillaume’s own vineyard in the northeastern part of Cramant, Avize Grand Cru, just a few rows of old vines given to him by his grandmother for his 18th birthday.
Largillier is made from pinot noir grapes grown on Kimmeridgian soils, bought from his friend Jérôme Coessens in Côtes des Bar specifically because Guillaume wanted a new challenge to make a blanc de noirs champagne from different terroir.
Hidden away in the village of Cumières, absolutely no sign will lead you to this small (2.5ha) and unusual estate, only a name on a door bell - you have to be a savvy Champagne connoisseur to dare ring it! Georges has been farming 7 parcels of vines organically since 1971, in a region that is well known for its heavy use of chemicals, and at a time that most were using vineyards as landfill. Georges handed the domaine over to his son Vincent in 1996.
The philosophy is as natural and pure as can be. Ripe grapes, vinification in barrels, indigenous yeasts, long ageing on the lees before bottling for secondary fermentation, no fining, no filtration, no cold maceration and sulphur added only to homeopathic levels only. With all this respect and purity it is easy to guess that no dosage is added.
Eric Rodez is one of the superstars of the current champagne generation, a hugely respected winemaker named by his peers as the grower they most look up to. His family has been growing grapes in Ambonnay for more than nine generations; today he and his son Mikael together run their 6.5 ha biodynamic domaine.
Eric trained and worked at Krug, learning the art of blending and ageing, but discovered for himself that it is his terroir that is the most important element of his domaine: today it is the essence and heart of everything he does.
Frédéric Savart is a fiercely individual Champagne maker making beautifully expressive, vivid and crystalline champagnes of great depth and power. Their balance of vibrancy and flavour is utterly compelling and their scarcity is testament to their already high global demand.
Savart is a terroir fanatic, works mostly with Pinot Noir, and avoids malolactic fermentation to preserve the tension and energy of his champagnes. However, Savart works with grapes and oak in a different way to Rodez, fermenting in mostly new barrels, meaning his wines have a richness, creaminess and class that is pure pleasure.
Champagne le Chapitre is made by one of the finest artisan growers in Champagne, José Lievens. All the grapes are from his own organically-farmed vineyards and are vinified in his own winery. José is a renowned wine maker in the region and is particularly well known for his knowledge and skill with his terroir. He is the only récoltant-manipulant in Berru, a beautiful, peaceful village just east of Reims; he owns 17ha of vineyards in total, most of which are farmed organically, with José working towards converting the whole estate to organics.
José practises sustainable wine-making aimed at reinforcing the positive impact of grapevine cultivation on the environment, while reducing its negative impacts. He allows the growth of natural ground cover crops to counter erosion in the vineyards, strictly limits the use of sprays, and ensures efficient ecological and economical management in the winery thanks to modern equipment, energy-saving facilities and careful management of waste. The Le Chapitre brand was created by the Wine Source team with José
Feel the hustle and bustle of a working house, home to the creation of Krug Champagnes since 1866. Discover the house and cellars and take a tasting journey into the Krug universe.