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Drappier : Quality Champagne towards a Better Future

Posted: Friday, 07 April 2017 18:05


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Drappier : Quality Champagne towards a Better Future

April 07: Winemaker and owner of the family-owned Champagne House, Michel Drappier was in Mumbai on 27th March 2017 for a Drappier Sundowner event moderated by Sonal Holland MW at Taj Lands End to introduce their two new additions to India and to share with the specially invited wine enthusiasts and press, the winery’s efforts towards a greener planet and the various aspects that make Drappier’s champagnes unique. Rishi Vohra CSW, delWine correspondent for Mumbai reports.

Click For Large ViewSparkling wines, both domestic and foreign, have exploded in the Indian market over the past decade. However, people still tend to confuse anything with bubbles to be champagne though in essence, sparkling wine produced from the Champagne region of France under the traditional Méthode Champenoise, governed by further guidelines may be called champagne.

Drappier exports two-thirds of its champagne and has managed to retain its brand loyalty in all the 98 countries where it is present. Brought into India by Ace Beveragez, Drappier has made its impact on Indian palates, with an increasing amount of consumers even asking for it by name. India is the first country outside of France where these two non-vintage champagnes, Corte d’Or and Rose de Saignee, are poured.

Drappier is a family owned winery and has managed to survive eight generations and yet remain one of the premium champagne brands. The winery came into existence in 1808, but houses the oldest wine cellar (dating back to 1152) in Champagne built to produce Pinot Noir. Michel Drappier is the seventh generation of the family and attributes their success to passion and innovation. He says, “We are hard workers and put all our energies into our work. To remain successful is a matter of time, energy, love and innovation from generation to generation.”

Over the past decade, the company has spared no efforts in reducing their carbon footprint in every way possible. Sustainability is one of Drappier’s key initiatives and their persistent efforts have resulted in their achieving Carbon Neutral certification in January last year. One-third of the estate is certified and they are slowly working towards 100% certification. Talking further about Drappier’s green efforts, Michel says, “The idea was to be clean in the next generation. Champagne like any wine is better when it’s natural. We have seen the difference in blind tastings. We decided to go organic so that there is no mask, no filter, between the juice and the champagne we have in our glass. It took years and years of Click For Large Vieweffort to be able to offer champagne of pure expression, which is different from any of other brands. You can almost taste the juice.”

Michel mentions that they produce most of its electricity on solar roofs.  In fact, they have the largest solar roofs in the winemaking world in the northern part of France. His passion towards being sustainability is evident not only in the vineyard but extends also to their bottles, which are made with less fuel by using recycled glass. The rest of the emissions are compensated through carbon credits in wind turbines in Maharashtra. 

Being organic may be an investment, but can prove to be expensive. And the yields are up to 25% lower than traditional modern wine growing. But despite that, Drappier spares no efforts in being organic. Michel explains, “We invest a lot of money in using organic sugarcane which comes from the Caribbean. We melt it in our still wine and we mature the liqueur we make for 25 years in our barrels. So the liqueur that we made in October will be used in 2040. The liqueur is so concentrated all these years, it becomes almost as thick as honey, melts very quickly in the champagne, and you don’t feel the sugar.”

The bottle was designed by Michel four years ago to protect the wine against oxidation, because Drappier is the lowest sulfur user in Champagne at just 0-30 mg per liter, the permissible limit being 200 mg per liter. There is almost no sulphur in the champagne, giving it a smooth journey of taste.

Tasting Notes

Click For Large ViewCarte D’Or : Primarily Pinot Noir, this wine is well-balanced with ripe melon and toasty flavours, offering a creamy finish. Alcohol is at 12%. Works well as an aperitif but would pair well with grilled seafood, tangy cheeses, and even tandoori paneer.

Rose de Saignee : 100% Pinot Noir, this sparkling rose has a delicate raspberry colour with aromas of cherry and raspberry and light mineral notes. Fresh with medium acidity and long finish, alcohol is at 12%. Would pair well with light salads, grilled meats and vegetables.

Click For Large ViewAce Beveragez has been importing Drappier into the Indian market for the past four years and it is the only champagne brand in its portfolio. Sandip Parsan of Ace is confident that these two champagnes are well-suited to Indian palates given the marked minerality, which is different from other champagnes, making them apt for India’s tropical weather. He says, “Drappier has found acceptance in all the metros and even in Rajasthan. Word of mouth has made these champagnes popular and consumers are even asking for it by name.”

India’s first and only Master of Wine, Sonal Holland, agrees. She says, “These wines have that perfumed aroma that a high quality champagne exhumes. The perfumed elegance stays on your palate and lingers on the finish, which is very hard to find in any other sparkling contemporaries.  These champagnes have a much riper style which will appeal to consumers in India.”

The efforts of Michel Drappier towards a sustainable and quality product are both evident and commendable. I know that the next time I’m looking for high quality champagne, I’ll be asking for Drappier by name. All champagnes have a history behind them. But this is one Champagne brand has a unique story, one that is marked with passion towards a better future.

Rishi Vohra is the Mumbai Correspondent of delWine and is a Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) from the Society of Wine Educators - USA. He has done an MBA in Sustainable Business from San Francisco State University and a Masters Diploma in Environmental Law from WWF-India. He has authored two bestseller fiction novels, ‘HiFi in Bollywood’ and ‘Once Upon the Tracks of Mumbai,’ the latter which was awarded an honorable mention in the General Fiction category at the Hollywood Book Festival, and was the only book from India to be awarded at the festival. He can be contacted at

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