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Meet: Marc Hébrart

Marc and Bernadette Hébrart started producing Champagne in 1964. Their enterprise was initially on a small plot but little by little they added more. Now their estate encompasses more than 15 hectares spread over 75 plots across the two river banks that sweep through Valée de la Marne. On average their vines are 28 years old and the grapes they grow are 70% Pinot Noir and the remaining 30% are Chardonnay. The eagle eyed will discern that this is only two of our three champagne grapes, with the missing party being Meunier. We’ve not forgotten, you’ve just picked up on something that makes this grower a bit different. Marc Hébrart only produces champagne from a combination of Chardonnay and Pinot...

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Champagne Terroir - it's all just rocks and rain

Terroir - a somewhat ambiguous term but generally should be taken as describing the entirety of a natural environment in which the object is growing. So in our case it’s the climate, soil and geography of the Champagne region and our favourite grapes that grow in it. To give some context into how seriously terroir is taken, Champagne has a history of vine-growing that dates back to the dawn of Christianity and has had the technical boundaries of Champagne and its vineyards defined by France’s appellation system since 1927. Each country has a different way of labelling it’s protected and designated areas, in France they are called Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée or AOC. This regulation is designed to preserve and protect...

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Styles of Champagne

If you’ve ever stood in a wine shop and been baffled at the array of confusing words on a champagne label - you’re not alone. Apart from Rosé vs. the regular golden colour, not much else is super obvious. Here we’re going to break it down for you. Using the below information and lots of taste testing (such a chore) you can start to build out what your personal preferences are linked to.   Vintage and Non-VintageVintage - refers to the year in which grapes used in the champagne making were grown and picked. Vintage champagnes must be made only of grapes from a single year named on the label. Vintage champagne is often perceived to be a higher quality...

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Meet: Pierre Bertrand

This month’s grower is Pierre Bertrand. You can find ‘Maison Pierre Bertrand’ in Cumières, around 2 kilometers from Hautvillers Abbey where our familiar friend, the illustrious monk Dom Pérignon lived, worked and is laid to rest.

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Meet: Julien Chopin

Julien Chopin is a family operation that was founded in 1947 by Julien Chopin himself. Currently, Emmanual Chopin is at the helm - a 6th generation grape grower and 3rd generation champagne producer. Their vineyards sit a short way south of Epernay, across 7 hectares from the Coteaux Sud d’Epernay to the Côte des Blancs. Within that spread, Julien Chopin has vineyards in 6 seperate villages: Monthelon, Grauves, Cuis, Mancy, Moussy and Chouilly. The vines themselves average around 20 years old. Why is age important? Great question, glad you asked. Vine age and what constitutes an ‘Old Vine’ is a debated topic in the world of wine. As a general rule, most vines won’t produce wine-worthy fruit until their 3rd...

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