Grower Champagnes featured by Lettie Teague in the Wall Street Journal
We were thrilled to read Lettie Teague, the Wall Street Journal's wine columnist, giving Flatiron Wines a mention (or two) in her latest feature on grower Champagnes. And it was particularly nice to see her praise our colleague, Clara, and shout out Clara’s amazing Champagne classes.
But we were especially thrilled to see Lettie's appreciation of "Farmer Fizz" feature so many of our favorite growers. These producers – and their Champagnes – deserve the attention!
And you can find those wines at Flatiron! We have Lettie's wines:
The Grower Champagne Movement
At Flatiron we're passionate about these small-scale Champagne artisans. Both the New York and San Francisco shops opened with a wall full of our favorites and they're still, literally, front and center.
Farmer-winemakers (or recoltant-manipulant, in the technical French) who labor to make champagne from their own grapes (rather than selling the grapes off), have a connection to the land that imbues their wines with a sense of terroir you just won't find in even the great Grand Marques champagnes of Krug and Ruinart, no matter how delicious those wines are.
Make no mistake — we also love the really good Champagne houses, too. The wines offer a consistently magical experience in a way few – maybe no – other wines can.
But there's something special about discovering a small grower's interpretation of their family's tiny piece of land. It's that sense of exploration, of travel through bottled terroir, that makes a many people fall in love with Burgundy, German Riesling or the Loire Valley.
And it's now becoming almost mainstream to expect to get that sense of adventure in certain Champagnes, too. "Champagne: Not just for celebrations anymore!"
Now it’s true that many of the early adherents of organic and biodynamic farming were vignerons – if you lived close to the vines and any chemical sprays you’d probably consider going organic too! And it’s true that of the few Champagnes that are striving to be “natural wines” most are small growers. But honestly, there are houses making great strides in more environmental farming practices, working hard to reduce chemical inputs.
No, when you get right down to it the reason we go a little gaga for growers is that they offer a diversity of voices and a multitude of terroir expressions. And we’re thrilled to see these tiny producers featured in the illustrious pages of the Journal.
Lettie's article lists seven standout bottles and we've got them all for you!
Champagne Classes Clara’s Champagne classes have been a hit and it was good of Lettie to call them out. She loves the wines and knows the ins and outs of the terroir, and she’s great at sharing her passion. Her Champagne class is a ton of fun and a great way
Because of all the interest, she’ll be re-running her Villages of Champagne class. It’s a great opportunity to dive deep into exactly what Lettie is writing about: Champagne as a land of small growers working diverse terroirs in neighboring villages. But sign up fast – spots are limited. (And please note: the classes are offered from the NY store so even if you have an account in SF you'll need to create one in NY too.)