Organic and Carbon Neutral at Champagne Drappier

Champagne Drappier with Ties to Cistercian Monks
Champagne Drappier is a moderate size Champagne House located in the Côte des Bar in the village of Urville. The winery is located on the site of a winery and cellar dating back to the 12th century.

Early in the 12th century, Saint Bernard of the Abbey at Citeaux in Burgundy was sent to establish a satellite abbey in Clairvaux, in what is today the Côte des Bar. Vineyards were planted in hilly sites nearby with Urville as the site of a winery and cellar. The Drappier family began their history with grape growing in Urville in 1808. Their property included one of the ancient winery locations with cellars, even some old equipment. In 1952, they produced their first Champagne. Today, they are proud to recollect the history of grapegrowing in the area, including aging some of their wines in the ancient cellars.

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

Organic Champagne and Zero Carbon Footprint at Champagne Drappier
The Drappier family farms 62 hectares (about 135 acres) near the village of Urville, where the winery is located. 27 ha of the 62 are certified organic. They use no herbicides or insecticides in their vineyards. Their weed control is by mechanical means and they work nearly half their vines by horse. The remainder are worked by tractor, with a transition to electric tractors in progress. With their interest in history, they committed to some of the approved but seldom planted Champagne grape varieties and reestablished these lesser known varieties in their vineyards. They even highlight of these varieties in some of their wines today.

In the winery, yeasts are used which have been cultivated over time in the Drappier cellars. Base wines, vins clair, are not filtered. No animal products are used. Dosage for the wines is maintained at the lower limit for each style (extra brut, brut, etc…), and sulfur is kept to absolute minimum, with final levels of 30-45 mg/l typical. One of their cuvées has no added sulfur at all.

Sustainability marks every aspect of their operations. They have installed solar panels which provide approximately 75% of the power needs of the winery. They utilize electric tractors and delivery vehicles and provide electric charging stations for visitors. They utilize bottles designed by Michel Drappier which are 15% lighter than typical Champagne bottles. They recycle extensively, have a vegetable garden and orchard onsite as well as hosting a variety of farm animals. In 2016 Champagne Drappier was the first Champagne house certified as Carbon Neutral by Écoact.

Visiting Champagne Drappier
After the tour, tasting at Champagne Drappier is a memorable experience. Their Champagnes offer noticeably lower dosage than many houses. Their interest in the lesser grapes of Champagne shows in their Quattuor cuvée, a Champagne blend of Chardonnay, Arbanne, Petit Meslier and Blanc Vrai (aka Pinot Blanc). On the day we visited, we were treated to a special addition to the normal tasting. We blind tasted the four constituents to their Père Pinot cuvée with Michel Drappier and his oenologist. Pére Pinot is a tribute to Michel’s grandfather, and it consists of all the Pinot grapes: Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Blanc Vrai (Pinot Blanc) and Fromenteau (Pinot Gris).

You can tour the cellars, taste the Champagnes and learn all about the special efforts and methods undertaken at Champagne Drappier, simply by going to their website and arranging your visit. Visiting in the Côtes des Bar will remind you of the farming nature of winemaking, even those elegant Champagnes.

Comments
2 Responses to “Organic and Carbon Neutral at Champagne Drappier”
  1. When I visited Champagne in 2014 (media trip), we visited the Côte des Bar and Drappier was my favorite stop and a very memorable tasting. So cool they’re carbon neutral (and I’m not surprised at all). Definitely a fan of their wines! Glad you got down to Côte des Bar!

  2. Glad that I have got to know about Cote Des Bat through this article. Good one shared.

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