Region: France, Champagne Size: 12ha Viticulture: Biodynamic
Erick de Sousa was one of the very first in Champagne to embrace biodynamics, back when it was primarily a farming phenomenon restricted to the Loire Valley. Even today, most vineyards in Champagne still resemble a lunar landscape, with rock-hard, compacted soil.
This is especially evident in winter, when growers give up the pretense of growing cover crops between the rows, and save money on herbicides by dousing the fields so liberally with fertilisers that the weeds actually die from phosphate poisoning. So it is quite something to see Erick’s immaculate vineyards, neatly pruned and trained, and a delight to walk on soil that isn’t deadened from mechanical (large tractors) and chemical abuse.
The winemaking here is also traditional and careful – Eric prefers malolactic fermentation to take place, which softens the wine slightly and allows him to use a lower dosage (added sugar) than would otherwise be the case. The top cuvées see some oak, but otherwise neutral containers are preferred as he tries to preserve fruit purity and freshness. In our experience, the wines are much better after a few years in bottle.