Not only is grower Champagne one of the most stunning and delightful beverages, but it’s one of the many beautiful byproducts of sustainable agriculture. Quest-que ce sustainable agriculture? Let’s dive in.
“You take the things you like. And try to love the things you took. And then you take that love you made.
And stick it into some—someone else's heart. Pumping someone else's blood.”
- Regina Spektor | Singer, Songwriter
Sustainable agriculture is an umbrella term that represents anything from conventional practices, to organic or biodynamic practices. We like to think of it as the circle of life. In the most simple terms, when our winemakers take, they show their appreciation and respect by giving back. They understand that everything is connected, and that the Earth can’t give what it does not have.
To be a grower Champagne vigneron is not just a job. It's a lifestyle. Each of the fatcork growers cherish and nurture their small plots of land with a sustainable mindset and take agricultural accountability for the land that gives their life meaning. Everything from soil health to pruning and harvest is part of this natural farming ideology. When an ecosystem is in balance, things are as they should be, and problems that arise take care of themselves. Vines need healthy, nutrient-rich soil. Bird droppings help to fertilize the soil. Birds take care of the bugs, but the birds won’t come if there are no bugs. If the soil is not healthy, there are no bugs to eat and so on and so forth. If there is no nature in the vines, then something isn't right.
The meticulous process of making Champagne is a tradition deeply rooted in harmony with nature. It’s all about paying attention to what the soil and the vines need and using the most natural solutions to the problems at hand. From generation to generation, these wine growing families continue to pass down their values of protecting their environment, and to make choices that support and maintain economic feasibility. They believe that it is their social duty to prioritize environmentally safe practices to preserve and ensure the longevity of their land’s natural resource base, and also to create the best quality bubbles for their consumers.
It takes time and patience. It’s definitely not the easiest method. But, it’s valuable and worth it in every way. They have to replenish nature’s cup, before it can replenish theirs.
Grower Champagne is passion and tradition. It’s dedication and respect. It's the Earth, the soil and the sun. It's the birds that eat the insects and the pesky rodents. It's the nettles and weeds that are turned into fertilizer. Dirty boots stomping and tired backs. Vine shoots bursting towards the sun. It’s the lady bugs on the leaves and the grassy knolls between each row. The chickens who eat the grass and fertilize the soil. It’s the horses that plough, and the hands that pick. It’s the presses that squeeze and the forks that lift. The fruit that becomes juice, and the juice that becomes wine. It’s the bubbles in your glass, and smiling faces of the ones you love.
It is a privilege to work closely with these amazing winemaking families, and an honor to bring their cuvées here to the states to share with you.
Grower Champagne is from past generations for future generations to come. So, supporting sustainable farming is important! Support this cause by popping a bottle, and remember you are part of this circle.
Cheers to nature!