Champagne Fleury – Biodynamic in Champagne Since 1989

Champagne’s Southern Section – the Côte des Bar
Our Champagne tour took us next to the southern reaches of the region, the Côte des Bar. The Côte des
Bar is a 90 minute drive south from Reims and Epernay, it’s physically closer to the Chablis region than it is to the northern section of Champagne. While all the Champagne grapes are grown here, Pinot Noir is the dominant grape. Far from the center of Champagne, the region feels much more rural.

(click on any photo in the post for a full size slideshow)

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose, we toured independently in the Côte des Bar.

Champagne Fleury
The Fleury family estate was established in Courteron in the Côte des Bar in 1895. Originally, they established themselves as master grafters, very useful in a war with Phylloxera. They bottled their first Champagne under the Fleury label in 1929. Early pioneers in biodynamics, they certified their first vineyards in 1989 and completed all their vineyards in 1992. Today, the estate is run by the 4th generation of the family. Their plantings are dominated by Pinot Noir with a minority of Chardonnay. They have a passion for the lesser known approved grapes and have smaller plantings of Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Meunier. They farm 15 hectares (ha) of their estate vineyards and also purchase grapes from two other growers certified in biodynamics for a total of 22 ha (about 50 acres).

Biodynamics at Champagne Fleury
Biodynamics is built on a foundation of organic viticulture, but it encourages a larger view of the farm as a self-sustaining closed system, working with nature rather than conquering it. Biodynamic preparations are used to improve a vineyard’s natural workings, defenses and overall health. In the spirit of more natural approaches, use of farm animals, manual operations and the human hand are preferred. Everywhere else in Champagne, we saw modern grape presses, gyropalette machines for riddling. Champagne Fleury has a modern press, but they prefer the traditional press as it requires more of a human touch. Some vintage wines go through their second fermentation under cork and staple instead of the modern crown cap, and some are riddled by hand. All these touches express the biodynamic spirit.

Visiting Champagne Fleury
If your travels take you to the Champagne region, make some extra time to tour in the Côte des Bar. You’ll take away a more rural, back-to-the-roots impression as part of the region. You can arrange a visit at Champagne Fleury where you can tour and taste. They even have two guest rooms you can stay in overnight. Simply click here for the details. If you are in Paris and would like to purchase some Champagne Fleury, you can visit Ma Cave Fleury, operated by Morgane Fleury.

Comments
3 Responses to “Champagne Fleury – Biodynamic in Champagne Since 1989”
  1. Lisa Denning says:

    Sounds like a great wine! I see it’s available in many shops here in NYC so I’ll be looking to get a bottle or two! Thanks for sharing, Jeff!

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  1. […] Champagne FleuryChampagne Fleury is located in the Côte des Bar in the southern part of the Champagne region. They are certified biodynamic (organic certification is a pre-requisite). They are known as one of the original champions of biodynamics in Champagne. Read about our visit here. […]



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