The family of Dhondt-Grellet has been producing champagne since 1986 when Eric and Edith started out from their house in Flavigny. Today both their kids Adrien and Alice has taken over the reigns and it is with Adrien’s entry into the production that things really started to improve. Adrien is inspired by the greats of Burgundy and Champagne, such as Coche-Dury and Selosse. During his brief time in the cellar and vineyards the wines have been brought up to another level. Something that has caught the attention of the international wine market – today Dhondt-Grellet’s grower Champagne is highly praised and sought after.
Vineyard plantings consist of 6 hectares in the heart of Côte des Blancs spread across 25 liuex-dit’s in the villages of Cuis, Cramant, Chouilly and Sézanne. A little bit of Pinot Noir is grown in Avenay-val-d’Or in the Vallée de la Marne as well. The vines are in average 40 years old and are farmed close to organic with some biodynamic methods being used – all in all a very natural approach. Adrien is a strong believer in terroir and has therefore expanded the range of wines produced by isolating villages and vineyards and bottling them separately. This also means that a very low dosage is practiced, maximum 5 g/l. Adrien has experimented with zero dosage but his experience tells him that you need a tiny amount of sugar for the wines to age better. Wines are fermented spontaneously in oak barrels and stainless steel, most of the wines rest 8 months on the fine lees before second fermentation and after that it ages sur lattes 2-4 years. All wines except entry level Dans un Premier Temps are Blanc de Blancs.
The soul and extra personality in Dhondt-Grellet’s champagnes undoubtedly comes from the solera Eric and Edith started back in 1986. The solera is based entirely on chardonnay and are separated after village. Every year a part is taken out for blending and a new part from the latest vintage is always added back, making it a form of perpetual reserve. The wines Adrien makes, except Vintage, have 30 % of this solera wine in them. This adds incredible depth, richness and complexity to these beautiful, honest, world class champagnes.