In 1894 at the beginning of France’s lively Belle Époque, Arthur Agrapart started the family domaine that would become Champagne Agrapart & Fils. The estate has weathered many storms, including World War I, an economic depression, and the German Occupation during World War II, which devastated stock by millions of cases throughout the region. In the 1950s, Arthur’s grandson Pierre set out to rebuild the family business by making wines of quality rather than following the commercial trends of the day. Pierre’s sons Pascal and Fabrice took over the reins in 1990, farming their own vineyards along the prestigious Côte de Blancs, as well as blending and bottling their own wines.
In the early 2000s, judging that he and his brother did not possess the same goals as to the direction of the estate, Pascal began the long-term process of dividing the estate in two. His vineyards would become the backbone of Domaine Pascal Agrapart, focusing on the unique single vineyard cuvées that he had championed since the early 1990s and the remaining family vineyards would provide the fruit for the assemblage cuvées, 7 Crus & Terroirs, still bottled under the Agrapart & Fils label, as of this writing in 2023. Pascal has been joined by his eldest son Ambroise and their ultimate goal is to produce ONLY wines bearing the Pascal Agrapart label.
Beginning with the following vintages, the special cuvée wines have been bottled under the Pascal Agrapart label.
2014 (base wine) Complantée
The winery is based in the grand cru village of Avize, famous for its cuvees of 100% Chardonnay. Pascal and Ambroise farm 10 hectares from some 60 different vineyard plots in the Côte de Blancs, including Oger, Cramant, Oiry and Avize. They prefer not to label their viticultural methods; they farm using only homeopathic vine treatments, composts, manures, and regular plowing. The Agraparts were one of the first families to bring the draft horse back to the vineyards, and named a cuvee in honor of their first four-hooved friend, Vénus. In plowing the old-school way, they expose the clay and limestone soils to immune-boosting properties of the wind and sun. While they once were the object of ridicule, they now lead a return to authentic, ancestral practices. Their quality control extends to manual harvests, a selective triage of the grapes, and the use of native yeasts during fermentation. Malolactic fermentations are employed to round out the intensity of these mineral-driven Champagnes. The wines age on their lees for an extended period of time, and then are racked to both stainless steel and neutral oak barrels—the latter being a rarity in Champagne before Pascal started using them. All wines are bottled unfined and unfiltered. Up until the time when he passed away in 1996 at the age of 96, Pascal’s grandfather, Auguste Agrapart, took great pride in hand-riddling each bottle of Agrapart Champagne. When asked for the secret to his long life was, his reply was “one bottle of Champagne a day.”
For more information, please see: champagne-agrapart.com
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