Happy New Year! an Organic Champagne Toast!

We’re closing in on another year and with it celebrations and new hopes for the year to come. Champagne has always been part of the big celebrations as well as the smaller ones. In fact Napoleon Bonapart has been quoted as saying “When I win I drink champagne to celebrate, and when I lose I drink it to console myself.”. I have to assume though, that Napoleon was referring to what we now call “organic” or “bio” champagne since the chemical pesticide/herbicide industry had not yet taken shape at that time.

Though the many, who are mainly concerned with image, tend to congregate to the prestige of the Moet Chandon’s, Veuve Cliquot’s and Cristal’s, those who are simply into really good champagne are looking more and more to the smaller grower producers who, not only excel at their craft, but who often produce a champagne that surpasses those from the bigger champagne houses.

One such product is Terre de Vertus Champagne Premier Crus Non-Dosé. Terre de Vertus is produced by Champagne Larmandier-Bernier, a small grower producer located in Vertus in the Champagne region, about 1 ½ hour’s drive from Paris.

Pierre and Sophie Larmandier have been cultivating their estate biodynamically since 1999 and chose to do so, not because of tradition, but because it makes sense to them, it’s “self-evident” and “true”. Pierre has been quoted as saying “We are fortunate enough to work on superb terroirs; it would be a shame if we didn’t bring them to your glass”.

The “Terroir” of a wine or champagne is often greatly overlooked. It is what gives a wine or champagne its uniqueness, its soul. And it is a priority for the Larmandiers.

Terre de Vertus has no sugar added and has been described as having “notes of chalkiness, lime peel and flowers that recall a great Sancerre” and was given 93 points by Antonio Galloni of The Wine Advocate. (Note: Sancerre is a sauvignon blanc wine from the Loire Valley.)

Sounds like the absolutely perfect way to start a new year, one where more of us stop settling for the mediocrity we’ve been getting and begin demanding only the best foods, wines, and champagnes made by those who have a passion for their craft and insist on the finest ingredients, which means at minimum, pesticide-free, herbicide-free and definitely gmo-free!

Best wishes for the New Year to all!