Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Champagne Blogs

It’s fine to read the drivel written by hacks like me, but to hear from people who really know what they’re talking about, check out some of the blogs written by the Champenois themselves.

Alexandre Chartogne, of Champagne Chartogne-Taillet, blogs in English. Alexandre recently finished a stage with Anselme Selosse, and has returned home to the family estate in Merfy. Constantly inquisitive, he’s seeking to take this already excellent estate to the next level, experimenting with ideas such as biodynamic viticulture and aging in barrique.

Jean-Baptiste Cristini, export manager for Champagne Salon and Champagne Delamotte, might not really be Champenois (he’s originally from South Africa), but he certainly knows the region. He’s particularly interested in wine and food pairing, and on his blog (posted in a mix of English and French) you’ll find comments on wonderful things that he gets to eat with his Salon, along with news about Salon and Delamotte.

Benoît Tarlant, of Champagne Tarlant, posts in both French and English. Tarlant is a family-run estate in the Vallée de la Marne west of Epernay, crafting rich, terroir-driven wines aged in oak barrels. Benoît posts some good photos and videos of happenings in the vineyard throughout the year.

Franck Pascal, of Champagne Franck Pascal, is a biodynamic grower in the Vallée de la Marne, and his champagnes are dry, intensely vinous and utterly superb. On his blog (entirely in French) he provides regular commentary on the growing season, as well as discussions on some of the technical elements of viticulture and vinification.

Last but not least, Francis Boulard, of Champagne Raymond Boulard, is yet another grower pursuing natural viticulture, and a portion of the estate is farmed biodynamically. His blog is the one updated the most frequently out of all of these, and here you’ll find regular discussion—exclusively in French—on all things Champenois.

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