André Beaufort

Going against trends and chemistry: the unconventional expression of Champagne

André Beaufort, who owns 6.5 hectares of vineyards spread between the Grand Crus of Polisy in the Aube and Ambonnay as well as a splendid winery in Ambonnay, stands out among all Champagne producers for his strictly biodynamic approach, and for his personal and original cultivation and production methods, which are the result of endless experimentation. It all began in 1969, when André, after an allergic reaction to the synthetic products used in viticulture, started production based on organic agriculture. This conversion to organic cultivation soon led to experimental management based on homeopathy and aromatherapy using essential oils, plant dilutions and mixtures specially created to minimise the use of copper and sulphur (which is required in organic farming). Today, the soils do not require any treatment other than the furrows of the hoe and the nourishment of a vegetable compound produced in the cellar, which is enriched with meat, bone and blood flour. Since he refuses to use herbicides, chemicals, copper or sulphur, André's commitment is all about achieving and maintaining the right amount of humus necessary to feed the vines. This work is very complicated in times of difficult weather conditions, which can put a strain on the health of the vines.

The work in the Beaufort cellar is the consistent continuation of a philosophy based on artisanal and natural methods, on the rejection of synthetic products and on the scarcity of invasive human intervention. After the grapes have been pressed, the must is left for 12 hours in decanting tanks so that the solid elements can settle. It then goes into barrels and tanks, where alcoholic fermentation takes place using indigenous yeasts. This is followed by racking in the winter and then waiting for the malolactic fermentation to occur spontaneously in the spring. Bottling is then carried out using unrefined cane sugar, concentrated grape must and natural yeasts. The bottles are left to rest for months or years until the disgorging, which is still done by hand ("a la volée"), and the addition of dosage, for which concentrated grape juice is used.

The wines produced by Beaufort are the expression of a unique and unmistakable style, which is the result of totally unconventional agricultural and winemaking techniques. These are very particular Champagnes that are far from the mainstream trends and are not aligned with the most popular commercial products. The bottles that bear the Beaufort signature, having earned the esteem and approval of tasters all over the world, still possess the great capacity to amaze and offer new and original sensations that Champagne lovers cannot afford to miss.

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Address
Sarl Saint Jean Baptiste - 1 rue de Vaudemange - 51150 Ambonnay

"His wines are like no other. At their worst they acquire the spiced taste of certain Belgian craft beers, while at their best they display exceptional fruitiness and aromatic fullness".

 

- Revue du Vin de France

The Champagnes by André Beaufort