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Antoine Grethen is undoubtedly one of the young and dynamic generation of winemakers who in recent years are increasingly taking the helm and going in completely new directions.
Based in Valée del'Ardré (Montagne de Reims), Antoine's family has been farming for 8th generations. Antoine's grandfather established viticulture as a second farming branch in 1960, and Antoine's father long supplied the local cooperative. In doing so, however, he was already receiving bottles back for aging and self-promotion and aged them for a very long time, even by Champagne's high standards: the non-vintage Champagnes five years and the vintage Champagnes 10 years.
This passion for aging has also been adopted by Antoine. He now farms one hectare of vines, mostly Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir and some Chardonnay. He has also newly planted the old grape varieties Arbanne and Petit Meslier.
In the cellar, Antoine works very minimalistic and low-intervention, the base wines are fermented in used barriques and large wooden barrels (600 liters), with the goal of keeping any intervention including sulfurization as low as possible. The wine is moved only by gravity, and since the 2020 vintage no sulfur is added. The base wines are aged for two years in barrels and the champagnes are then aged for another three years in the bottle.
In terms of winemaking style, the champagnes are experimental and challenging, captivating with a very complex aroma that combines fruit, herbaceousness and floral notes in a unique way while being soft. You easily can and definitely should spend quite some time with these champagnes and they surely will take the heart of all friends of alternative styles by storm.
Facts: Brouillet, Montagne de Reims, R.M., 1 hectare, 10.000 bottles/year.