Drappier are no strangers to fearless innovation. In the 1930s the house earned notoriety in the south of Champagne for their decision to buck trend and hark back to history by replanting many of their vineyards with Pinot Noir rather than the Chardonnay that was heavily in vogue at the time. George Collet, head honcho of Drappier at the time, earned infamy and the moniker of Old Man Pinot for that decision.
Père Pinot was on the right side of history, and these days much of the Côte des Bar is dedicated to Pinot Noir. His grandson, Michel Drappier, has continued the family spirit, with a particular focus on sustainability.
In 2016 that focus resulted in Champagne Drappier becoming the first certified Carbon Neutral house in the entire region. No stone was left unturned to earn that certification. Solar panels sprawl over the nearly 2,000m 2 of the winery’s roofs, producing a full 75% of all Drappier’s energy requirements. Travel and farming work are a combination of both the ultra-modern and the traditional, utilizing electric cars and tractors as well as horse-drawn ploughs.
Overseen by Michel himself, even the Drappier bottles had a sustainability focused makeover. The classy current design is composed almost entirely of recycled glass and is also 15% lighter, helping with the inevitable carbon footprint of shipping wine worldwide.
In the vineyards themselves this attention to detail has translated into organic practices. Champagne as a region is perhaps one of the most challenging in the world to do this in. Temperature variation can be very wide, along with challenges from rain and frost, meaning in years like 2021 disease pressure can be immense even with the assistance of herbicides and pesticides. Drappier stand staunch in their beliefs however, and have had seventeen of their vineyards certified as organic, with another ten in the process.
The first organic Drappier Champagne made as a result of these efforts is the Clarevallis, named in honour of the local abbey founded by Saint Bernard. The Clarevallis is both completely new and also classically Drappier; containing a high assemblage of Pinot Noir, very low sugar and also the minimalist approach to sulphur usage that Michel has always championed.
DID YOU KNOW
Unfiltered and with a reduced dosage, this is a champagne imbued with elegance and authenticity.