As heavenly as the Champagne region itself: Champagnes from Alfred Gratien have a lengthy tradition and, disregarding the mass-produced ethos and fashions of modern times, still remain true to that tradition today. What you get is a "hand-crafted" champagne that represents quality and uniqueness. "I have always been of the opinion that champagne should be to wine what haute couture is to fashion." - Alfred Gratien. Philosophy: Extraordinary champagne has a name: Alfred Gratien. The house of Alfred Gratien has been producing champagne since 1864. Rigorous selection of grapes, traditional winemaking methods, voluntarily limited output and respect for the land - these principles and the fact that it is one of the last few remaining "hand-crafted" champagne producers in the world are the secret behind the outstanding quality of Alfred Gratien champagne and the factors which make it unique. The commitment of the management to remain true to the principles of founder Alfred Gratien is clear in every stage of the production of these spirited wines. Tradition: Champagnes from Alfred Gratien have a lengthy tradition and, disregarding the mass-produced ethos and fashions of modern times, still remain true to that tradition today. Our cellar master, Nicolas Jaeger, makes it his business to ensure that things stay that way. Following in the footsteps of his father and his forefathers, he represents the fourth generation to preserve the uniqueness of our champagnes. Every year, he ensures that we have the very best cuvée of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grape varieties. He is meticulous and strict in the way he oversees the fermentation of the wines in traditional wooden casks. In this way, he personally guarantees consistently high quality and an incomparable aroma. Quality: Alfred Gratien voluntarily limits its production to 250,000 bottles per year. Selection of vine varieties: The Pinot Noir grape gives the champagne a vinous character and body, while Pinot Meunier, a typical champagne grape, provides nutty aromas and creates a wine which better lends itself to cellar ageing. The lively finish, a delicate bouquet of white flowers and citrus fruits, comes from the Chardonnay, the only white grape variety used. Blending the cuvees: The cuvées are created by blending the best crus from the three main regions (Côte des Blancs for the Chardonnay, Montagne de Reims for the Pinot Noir and the Marne Valley for the Pinot Meunier). Wine-making using the traditional Champagne method: The first fermentation takes place entirely in small 228 litre oak casks (champagne casks) and gives the champagne a vinous, flavoursome, balanced style. Alfred Gratien is one of the last remaining wine-makers to maintain this tradition. Respect for the land: At Alfred Gratien, we have made a conscious decision not to use malolactic fermentation in the production of our champagne. This is in order to ensure that it maintains its original character. The aroma of the grapes and the land from which they came are thus preserved, and the wine retains its freshness, even as it ages. Selection of older vintage wines: At Alfred Gratien, the vintages are sealed with wired corks before being placed in the cellar. The permeability and flexibility of the cork allows small amounts of oxygen to penetrate into the wine, a process which is essential for successful maturation. Tasting these wines is an unforgettable moment in the life of any wine connoisseur. Savoir-faire: Champagne is not "manufactured", it is "created". For Alfred Gratien, the creative process begins right in the vineyard. Only the best grapes are selected for the composition of our cuvées. The fruit releases the secrets of its inner purity with the personality and shine that we associate with these lively wines. After six months cellaring in small 228 litre oak casks, the must has transformed into wine. The artistic skills of the cellar master now enter into a symbiotic relationship with the promise of what the wine is to become. The cuvée is bottled with sugar and yeast to allow secondary fermentation within the bottle. Thanks to their vinous structure, champagnes from Alfred Gratien lend themselves to long periods of cellaring. The cellar master knows exactly how to bring out the very best in them during the 36 months they spend in our cellars. The result are champagnes with a unique palate and an incomparable aroma. The next step in the process is "dégorgement" (disgorging), whereby the lees and sediment are removed from the bottle. The bottle is then topped up again with more wine and some sugar and is left to rest again for a few more months in the darkness of the cellar. Thanks to the genius of our cellar master, our secret recipes and our endless patience, the champagne will by now have become a true Alfred Gratien. And when you drink it, you'll truly have a taste of paradise!