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An interview with Fabien Daviaux of Champagne Chavost

As you probably know, we love Champagne Chavost at Cépage, and we're happy to shout about it. They don't make very much, so we're lucky to have some bottles available.

We offer a Chavost Case, for those wanting to explore the personality of these superbly crafted Champagnes. We spoke to Fabien and co. at Vinexpo Paris, getting to know a little more about their philosophy and what it means to craft wines organically, with the utmost respect for the land.

1) What’s your winemaking philosophy at Chavost?

As nature as possible, but for real no lie, it's means for us, Organic conversion certified vineyard 5 hectares and winemaking without addition of anything the great vintages, and without sulphites only for the bad vintages...

2) What difference does it make growing grapes organically compared to using chemicals?

In organic you can't use chemicals molecule to kill grass, flowers, or deseases, in organic, you can just use sulfure and copper to kill the deseases and you have to work the soil to take off the grasses

3) Can you explain a little more about your soil types - do you have plots with different grapes to experiment?

Our terroir in Chavot-Courcourt in mainly straight chalk ( Blanc de Chardonnay), tender and hard limestones. Our ground is not rich on the first 30 - 50 centimeters, and it goes straight on the underground part made of chalk. Our soil is mainly made for Chardonnay like cote de blancs but in the down hill, it was to much problem about frost on the Chardonnay buds and leaves, so our ancesters planted meunier on chalk to have a chance to have great grappes. At the flat bottom of the hill, we are lucky, we have a plot of 80 ares on the clay deep ( for Pinot Noir and Meunier) and rich ground, sunshine everyday, great plot for rosé de saignée, Eurêka! and Blanc de Meunier... ;)

4) Vinification in oak seems to be an emerging style for Champagne, have people always experimented or has it been noticed because of the popularity and success of Selosse?

I don't want to talk about it, I don't want any woodyness in my wines, this is why a lot of our volume is made without any barrel, and the barrels we have were made between 1995 and 2016... So our wines are really fresh and differents to the people using new and young barrels in Champagne...

5) How old are your vines, on average?

Our Oldest was planted in 1957 and the youngest in 2018, the average is around from 1975 and 1985, we are thinking to plant some Meslier and Arbane.

6) Is your terroir suited to a particular grape variety, or do the three principle varieties all work equally well?

No, because Pinot Noir needs some clay, this is why I said we are lucky to have some ( 50% of 80 ares but in our Cru, it's like 5% of Pinot Noir, 50 % of Meunier, 45 % of Chardonnay)

7) Do you have a favourite Chavost cuvée and why?

No I'm sorry I don't, it's to impossible to choose, but for the next vintage, the best one will be the Eurêka! AWESOME...

8) When you aren’t drinking Champagne, what are you drinking?

In my life I drink 2 alcohols, Wines Including Champagne everyday and the week-end, and everynight at home BEERS, a lot of cheap beer like water... Sad story hum?

9) Why did you decide to create a Coteaux Champenoise?

Because before being a Champagne Maker, we are winemaker, and sometimes do do the bottling with wines who doesn't need any bubble inside, really powerful, so I decided to bottle it like a still wine.

10) In five words, how would you describe the wines of Chavost?

Fruitty, fresh, candies, glouglou, happy

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