David vs Goliath
Yes, Many smaller Champagne growers ‘are dying out’ (‘Letter of the Month’, October 2018). Tyson stelzer (August 2018) is right. Champagne consumption in France is falling every year. many of these growers realise they have no option but to stop selling their (often mediocre) wines. They decide to sell their grapes to the houses, who offer a great price per kilo – and pay soon after the harvest. But it’s primarily the nondescript growers who are suffering.
When it comes to Champagne growers there are, as the French say, ‘ deux vitesses’. There are growers who are ‘dying out’ and there are ‘wonder boys’ – ambitious and zealous, artistic and disciplined. They do a great job in the vineyard and in the cellar. Their names – Francis egly, Pierre larmandier, anselme selosse, Cédric Bouchard, Frédéric savart, Pascal agrapart, Delphine Boulard, Benoît lahaye, Vincent laval, raphaël Bérêche and others – are well known in France and beyond. They compete with the big names like Krug, louis roederer, Bollinger and Pol roger to mention just a few. The competition is tough. as I point out in my book, Champagne: The Future Uncorked, quality and diversity in Champagne is higher than ever, thanks to that. Gert Crum, Netherlands
I Too Was most interested to read Tyson stelzer’s article highlighting the plight of small growers in the face of large commercial Champagne houses ( August 2018). I hope that annabelle Hind-Brown (‘Letter of the Month’, October 2018) can find solace in the magnum of Bollinger you will send for her star letter and not the bitter taste of irony! Dominic Davenport, by email