Grapes: Petit Meslier (A cross between Gouais Blanc and Savagnin)
Region: Chavot, Champagne, France
Viticulture: Organic + Biodynamic
Soils: Clay + Silt
Vinification: Direct press, then fermented in barrels with battonage. Aged for 6 months then undergoes 2nd fermentation
Aging: 18 months in bottle
Fining or Filtering: Disgorged
Sulfur: Minimal added
Notes from the Importer: Laherte Frères was founded in 1889 by Jean-Baptiste Laherte, although the Laherte family sold grapes to the local cooperative for many years. Michel Laherte, the father of current proprietors Thierry and Christian Laherte, began to bottle champagne under his own label, and when brothers Thierry and Christian took over the estate, they appropriately changed the name back to Laherte Frères. Since 2002, they have been assisted by Thierry’s son Aurélien (pictured), who represents the seventh generation of his family to grow vines in this area.
The Lahertes own ten hectares of vines, spread over an astonishing 75 parcels in ten different villages. Needless to say, some of these parcels are quite small, and fortunately much of the estate’s holdings lie in areas not too far away, in communes such as Chavot, Courcourt, Moussy, Vaudancourt, Mancy and Epernay. Aurélien Laherte is particularly interested in natural viticulture, and since 2005, five hectares of the estate have been farmed biodynamically. The other five are essentially organic, worked without any chemical pesticides or herbicides, and while Laherte would like to expand his biodynamic treatments to include more parcels, the main difficulty right now is distance, as some plots, such as those in Vertus or Voipreux, for example, are simply too far away from Chavot to effectively manage the intense labor required for biodynamic viticulture.