The champagnes from the Drappier family are hard to match in terms of elegance, class and richness – and the Elysée Palace agrees. The secret: over 200 years of family tradition, top-quality grapes and, above all, a strong emphasis on Pinot varieties, which account for 70 percent of the grapes.
Général de Gaulle enjoyed drinking Drappier when he spent time at home in Colombeyles- deux-Eglises. He was especially fond of Cuvée Drappier, a pure Pinot noir. That’s no coincidence – Pinots have always played an important role for Drappier. Even the frost catastrophe of 1957 didn’t change that: André Drappier simply planted a more robust Pinot meunier.
When Georges Collot, the maternal gradfather of the current boss Michel Drappier, planted his first Pinot vines in the 1930s, the neighbouring winegrowers laughed at him, calling him “Papa Pinot”. Today, the variety accounts for almost three quarters of the grapes grown in Urville. And nobody makes finer Pinot champagne than Drappier.
The family stretches back to the draper Rémy Drappier, who was born in 1604, but it was not until 1808 that François settled in Urville, in the south of Champagne, close to Troyes, where Cistercian monks had settled in the 12th century. André and Micheline carried forward the style established by “Papa Pinot”, and created the prestige cuvée Carte d’Or (1952). In 1968 came a rosé champagne, which was a novelty at the time – of course, it was made of 100% Pinot noir. Michel Drappier has been responsible for the wine since 1979, but André continues to contribute his huge experience, collected over 66 years of winemaking.
contract growers. The family’s hallmarks are a strong awareness of tradition – the major cuvées mature in a cellar which was dug out of the chalk in the mid 19th century, while other cellars were built by the monks in the 12th century – and an uninterrupted passion for wine. The wines are given the highest ratings. Charles de Gaulle would certainly be most satisfied, even if the cuvée named in his honour nowadays contains a little Chardonnay.