We like to begin a new year with a champagne toast because champagne is, after all, synonymous with luxury. For most people however, that’s where it stops, with the image or perception of luxury. There are still too many that just don’t seem to realize that this luxury beverage they’re consuming is filled with toxic chemical residues from the pesticides and herbicides that were used to grow the grapes. Now that doesn’t sound very luxurious anymore does it?
It doesn’t have to be this way, however. It is possible to enjoy champagne without those nasty toxins that create unknown or future havoc with our health. And that, is what we believe the definition of a “true luxury” is, or at least should be. A TRUE luxury should be one that not only provides a pleasure, but does so without causing harm to our health or to the planet.
The bad news is, there are still those who refuse to see or accept the detrimental effects toxic chemicals cause to the soil, to the foods we consume and to our health, and they appear determined to hold on to what may seem to them to be an “easier”, “less costly” and/or “less time consuming ” way of doing things.
The good news on the other hand is we are seeing more and more winemakers who are passionate about every aspect of winemaking starting with the soil that feeds the grapes, to the additives and right on to the creation of the final product. These vintners are willing to make the extra effort to ensure an end product that is superior in every way.
It all begins with the grapes and the terroir…
One such wine maker is family owned Champagne R. Pouillon et Fils, located about 2 hours east of Paris in the village of Mareuil in the Champagne region. The winery is now run by Fabrice and Elodie Pouillon, the third generation. When he joined the family business, Fabrice introduced sustainable agriculture to the family brand. Since then, the family has been practicing what is referred to as “culture raisonnée” or “reasoned agriculture/sustainable agriculture”.
This approach is similar to Organic as it rejects the use of chemical fertilizers, defoliants and fungicides in favor of certified organic products and herbal infusions. Grass is also allowed to grow between the grapes and the earth is turned to ensure the soil is alive with vital micro-organisms. Fabrice has also begun experimenting with biodynamic farming methods on some of his parcels.
The Champagne R. Pouillon & Fils brand includes several champagne options but most notable is 2Xoz. Fabrice and Elodie wanted to create an exceptional and limited edition champagne that honored a traditional recipe that used only the grapes’ natural sugars (as is reflected in its name). This required that the grapes be allowed to mature longer to ensure a higher sugar content in the grapes. Only the best pinot noir grapes, that have had the highest sun exposure on the family’s oldest parcels are selected for 2Xoz.
Though it falls into the rose category, its color is a surprising and intense red. It has been described as “voluptuous, rich, showing orange peel aromas intertwined with waxy notes and complex ginger/nutmeg spices”. It is considered by those who have tried it as more than a champagne and an adventure for the palate.
The 2004 harvest, cuvee blanc de noirs resulted in 2,547 bottles and is available for purchase. The 2007 vintage, a rose is sold out, and the 2009 vintage, a lighter red cuvee is available for purchase by reservation only. To reserve your bottle or for purchase information, you can contact the winery directly.
Our hope for the New Year is an increased awareness for all about the true state of our food supply, an awareness of the toxic chemicals that are actually getting into our foods and beverages that we then ingest. It is only once we have this awareness that we will start demanding the toxin-free, authentic and flavorful foods and beverages we have a right to expect.
So, may 2012 be filled with love, laughter and a little of life’s TRUE luxuries for all!
Happy New Year!