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Adrien took over the management of the winery from his parents Eric Dhondt and Edith Grellet in 2010. In 1986 they decided to stop selling grapes to Négociants, founded Dhondt-Grellet and realized their own vision. Due to many years of biological work, his son Adrien was able to convert the business to biodynamic viticulture as early as 2013 (without certification), which was essential for his high quality standards. The liveliness of the soils enable him to produce these uniquely expressive single-site wines from the top sites of the Côte des Blancs.
The vines thrive on 6 hectares of light, calcareous soils and mostly face south. The vineyards are mainly in the Grand and Premiers Crus communities of the Côte des Blancs, in Cramant, Chouilly and in Cuis. They also grow Pinot Noir in the Vallée de la Marne. The average age of the vines is 45 years.
The harvest takes place rather late for the region, but at higher ripeness, which was decisive for Adrien's contribution to the aromatic complexity and balance of the champagne. Each plot is vinified separately and fermented spontaneously using natural yeasts. Most of the base wines are matured in wooden barrels; malolactic fermentation is not prevented. The dosage is used only minimally and sulfur is hardly used so that the character of the champagne is fully expressed.
The results of this minimally invasive approach are pure champagnes of high complexity. They turn out to be extremely vinous and are by no means reminiscent of the great white wines from Burgundy. This fact is particularly noteworthy when you consider that the area in and around Cramant otherwise produces comparatively puristic plants.
The great dynamism in the development and the resulting outstanding quality of the champagnes of the domain has recently drawn the attention of the national and international critics guild to Dhondt-Grellet. According to critics, with his Burgundian approach, he is already one of the most exciting winemakers.
Facts: R.M., Flavigny, Côte des Blancs, 6ha