Françoise Bedel et Fils


Françoise Bedel et Fils
Françoise Bedel et Fils
Françoise Bedel, one of the stars of the Champagne biodynamic movement, has
become one of the biggest proponents of this varietal. Her south and southeast
facing vineyards are worked year round by her son Vincent and not a drop of
non-organic treatments have been used on the vines since 1997. The wines rest in
bottle for an extremely long time. The entry level wine doesn’t leave the cave until
5 years after harvest—this is for a non-vintage!
One of the biggest proponents of the Pinot Meunier
grape, Françoise ’s holdings are primarily made up of
this varietal now and it features highly in her bottlings. The property is located in
the extreme Western Marne Valley in the village of Crouttes-Sur-Marne.
Every part of the harvest is performed by hand in small baskets. The wines pass
into oak barrels before being bottled and are given a very light dosage. The
vintage and non-vintage wines both benefit from a tremendous amount of bottle
age before release.
Brut “Dis, Vin Secret” NV
96% Pinot Meunier, 4% Chardonnay from younger vines. Fermented in tank and aged partially in barrel.
Always zero dosage and a wonderful expression of Meunier minerality.
Brut “Entre Ciel et Terre” NV
41% Chardonnay, 35% Pinot Noir, 24% Pinot Meunier (even
though this is officially a non-vintage wine, this bottling always
comes from a single vintage and the percentages represent the
most current release, 1999.) Aged for 12 months in French oak. 4
g/l dosage. “Entre Ciel et Terre” means “between sky and earth”.
About Champagne
One of the coldest growing areas of viticultural France, Champagne sits to the Northeast and east of Paris.
Like most areas of France, wine has been produced here for centuries, but over time, production in the
region went from still to almost entirely sparkling wine.
Today, the vast majority of the wine production comes from large negociants who purchase grapes or must
from growers. These negociants may or may not have a say in how the grapes are produced and the ideal end
product is one that tastes the same year after year without accommodations made for terroir. Grower
champagne typically is from one terroir and often from one year, showing the “flavor” of that corner of
Champagne. Roughly 2% of the Champagne exported to the United States comes from growers who grow
their own fruit and make their own wines.
In Crouttes-sur-Marne, Françoise Bedel tends vines just feet from the Marne river. The vineyards are planted
on a complex soil structure of chalk, gravel, clay, and some grey schist in some parcels. This is as far west as
you can go in Champagne and still be in Champagne.