For those for whom champagne is regular rations, and therefore an eye is always open for value discovery, Drappier champagnes represent a real find. The principles and standards of this House have the integrity of a boutique grower’s champagne, but the relatively significant size of the business operation affords enough economies of scale for attractive and competitive pricing to be maintained.
Champagne Drappier’s main claim to fame is that it was the ‘house’ champagne of French war hero General Charles de Gaulle, who loved it so much when he retired from public life, he came to live in a village hardly a stone’s throw from the Maison Drappier estate. Now that’s what you call customer devotion!
However, ancestors of the Drappier family were first recorded in the heart of Champagne early in the 17th century. Remy Drappier (born 1604) was a cloth merchant in Reims just like Ruinart, who went on to found the first Champagne House in 1729. Remy’s grandson became a public prosecutor for Louis XIV, the Sun King, but the family didn’t go into the wine business until after the French Revolution, when they relocated south to Urville in the Aube. In the 1930s, Michel Drappier’s grandfather was the first local vigneron to plant Pinot Noir. He was nicknamed ‘Father Pinot’. Pinot Noir grapes now represent 70 per cent of Drappier’s own holdings and 75 per cent of the total local vineyard area.
After the Second World War, Michel’s father launched the House’s classic NV style, Carte D’Or with its distinctive yellow label. The yellow colour is said to represent quince jelly, which the maker claims is reminiscent of the aromatics in his champagne.
Michel Drappier took over the family legacy and the reins of the company in 1979. He is now the wine-maker who looks after 53 hectares of champagne vineyards and has long-term contractual arrangements with other growers for 40 hectares in the Montagne de Reims and the Côte des Blancs. This is prime champagne real estate. The impact of the House’s minimalist intervention techniques (practically zero per cent usage of sulphur, combined with good quality raw material) really shows through in the integrity of Drappier’s champagnes.
Meet The Champagne Makers Episode 5 Drappier
Meet Michel Drappier, whose grandfather was the first vigneron to plant pinot noir in the Aube region. Champagne Drappier’s minimalist intervention techniques, combined with good quality raw material from the region’s best vineyard sites, really show through in the quality of the grower champagnes presented in this episode of Champagne Jayne TV…
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