Interview with Michel Drappier.
It ‘s been natural for us to interview Michel Drappier for iBESTmag: in fact during a reportage carried out some years ago, in the Champagne region, at the time of the harvest, we had the pleasure of visiting the Maison Drappier (Urville), tasting its extraordinary wines and meet him personally.
So, we decided with this new interview, to add another “pearl” among the wine excellences to this web magazine. An excellence that lasts from the early 1800s and that has led Drappier to be the preferred Champagne by General De Gaulle in the 60s and to be present at the Elysée in the most important moments.
Interview by Daniela Barone.
Merci beaucoup Monsieur Drappier pour cette interview.
Q) The seat of Maison Drappier was previously inhabited by the Cistercian Monks of Clairvaux, and he was Saint Bernard, founder of Clairvaux Abbey, who built the first cellars in 1152. Do you consider this a divine sign for you?
A) Yes, it is very important for our family to have these Cistercian roots. Moreover the Pinot Noir which symbolizes the blood of Christ, represents the passion for the well done work of the Cistercians. This is our Maison soul.
Q) Can we consider St. Bernard as the first “vigneron”?
A) They were the Gallo-Romans who planted the first vines of our village, but he was precisely San Bernardo who was the first ‘vigneron’ as a producer, winemaker and, in a certain sense, a trader.
Q) When was your Maison Drappier created?
A) In 1808.
Q) Are there still some original medieval vines in the lands that you cultivate?
A) No, unfortunately the phylloxera destroyed everything.
Q) Do you want to tell us about Maison Drappier and its fabulous and precious articulated production of Champagne, which has also been organic for some years?
A) Since 1989 we have approached organic viticulture. A third of our Domaine is now certified and we are continuing this process. In terms of carbon, Drappier is proud to be the only company to have a carbon-neutral budget, which earned us the title of Green Personality of the Year 2017 from Drinks Business.
Q) Your famous Champagne in the world, has made history, can you tell us one of these moments?
A) Champagne Drappier was on the private table of Charles de Gaulle in the 60s. In 2003, the Grande Sendrée was chosen by the Elysée for the G8 Summit. The heads of state of the most powerful countries could taste and appreciate it. In a sense, “better than the ink” used to sign the documents at the highest level, it is the Champagne to seal the agreements!
Q) What are your suggestions, directives to give to young people who work in your property?
A) Be demanding with yourself before being with others. Doubt, doubt, but never stop engaging in the work.
Q) The many refined varieties that you produce, your great Cuvèes, are works of your ingenuity, of nature and of your territory, but also the constant commitment of generations and generations?
A) They are just a link in a long chain that crosses time. The vine time is not that of economy or politics, it is long and slow. The President of the Republic changes every 5 years, Drappier is at the Elysée for decades. We plant the vine for 60 years, sometimes more. The shipping liquors we produce today will be used for the things we’ll do in 2040. We work for future generations.
Q) Do you think you have transmitted your love for “the earth” to your children since they were young? Do they work with you?
A) I do not know if my children have the same love of mine for this earth, which has been with us for generations. You have to ask them this question, but I think so. In any case, they all work with me today.
Q) A Cuvée that represents you more?
A) Grande Sendrée: sur un “Crayot Kimmeridgien unique” (a kind of soil ) a champagne full of contrasts, elegant and vinous, mineral and voluptuous.
Q) An unforgettable vintage?
A) 1996. Great year and year of birth of the last 20th century Drappier: Antoine.
Texts and Images © iBESTmag, Interview© iBESTmag/Daniela Barone – Reproduction Forbidden