Updated: Jul 27
On the 18th of July, we were delighted to be joined for an online tasting by Charline Drappier, eigth generation family member of the prestigious house Champagne Drappier. Now taking over the responsibilities of the house with her two brothers, Charline talked us through the recent developments in sustainability as well as the exciting new releases that we were lucky enough to taste together.
1. Blanc de Noirs has only become popular in the last 20 years
The Drappier family has been instrumental in making pinot popular in Champagne as up until the 1930s the Aube region was vastly planted in gamay. Charline's great-grandfather insisted that pinot noir was more appropriate for the region and would make for a more elegant wine. She was laughed at and earned the nickname 'Pere Pinot" meaning father pinot, but eventually the neighbours followed suit and the last gamay vines were uprooted in the 1970s. In the 1990s, Michel Drappier decided to buck the trends and to showcase his terroir with a 100% pinot noir cuvée. Today this blanc de noirs is one of the signature wines of the house.
Charline walks us through the history of the cuvée here;
2. The forgotten varietals are making a comeback
Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Petit Meslier and Arbane may only make up 0.3% of the total region of the Champagne, but Charline and many other are starting to believe that these grapes may hold a solution to viticulture in warmer climates. She also thinks that improvements in technology have given us the tools to reveal the potential in these long abandoned grapes.
3. Moving towards a carbon positive future
Drappier has recently become the first carbon neutral winery in France. They have installed solar panels, rain water catchments, removed all pumping from the winery in favour of gravity and lowered the weight of all the bottles. Their aim is to become carbon positive in the next few years and produce more energy than they use.