That the expansive rolling hills of Champagne have been repeatedly ravaged by war over the last century has never stopped locals from celebrating every day with a glass of bubbly in hand. After all, there’s sparkling wine, and then there’s real champagne! While many of Europe’s wine regions lay claim as the birthplace of bubbles, Champagne is the region that has perfected sparkling wine since the 17th century. Its deep chalky soils allow Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier to thrive, finding some of their most unique expressions. Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, both red grapes, produce white structured wines rich in fruit; while Chardonnay—the region’s noble white grape—offers stony minerality, finesse and rich yeasty aromas. While the blending of the grapes is what produces a wonderful complexity, the real magic lies in the process, where the wine goes through secondary fermentation in the bottle to create its iconic effervescence. While the big champagne houses and their uniform “house styles” once defined the market, today, small production champagnes made by independent growers are offering better values from more pedigreed fruit. We are proud to represent several of these artisans.