Champagne Étienne Calsac is located near the Grand Cru village of Avize south of Epernay. Étienne farms approximately 2.8 hectares of vineyards. His vineyards are located in the Côte des Blancs, in Avize and Grauves, an area noted for the exceptional quality of its Chardonnay, and in the Grand Vallée, in Bisseuil. Interestingly, Étienne also has a clos, or walled vineyard, in Avize, which is something of a rarity in Champagne – and something we’ll see great things out of down the road.
Étienne’s family has been growing grapes in the region for several generations. In the past, the focus was on selling this production to the large negociant’s, such as Veuve Cliquout. Étienne took over the operation in 2008 with an eye toward the future and a philosophy firmly grounded in organic viticulture. He plows the soils by horse and plants cover crops to keep the soils invigorated, allowing the roots to penetrate deeper into the chalky limestone and clay soils. He feels it gives the vines the ability to best express their unique terroirs. Something that has not been the norm in Champagne over the years. He also vinifies each parcel separately before blending to allow the individual characteristics of each plot to be highlighted.
Étienne cares deeply about what goes on both in the vineyard and the cellar. He is constantly pushing himself creatively, as he explores the use of oak barrique, longer time on the lees, blending versus single vineyard expressions (a clos perhaps?), all while working with his exceptionally finessed and expressive current portfolio. He's also one of the only producers who we've seen in France or Italy who uses Zalto Stemware when he shows his wine. No detail is too small for Étienne. What intrigues us most about Champagne Étienne Calsac is we have the pleasure to enjoy these outstanding wines of grace and elegance today and we see the potential for pleasant surprises in the future.
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