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Flavien Nowack

Flavien Nowack is the 8th gen of Nowack Champagne. Encouraged by mentors like Sébastien Mouzon, he converted the estate to organics, then biodynamics, and is now exploring the realm of agroforestry to bring diversity. The wines are made with low intervention & are amongst the most exciting new-wave grower Champagnes.

"The realm of possibility when it comes to viticulture is enormous—and above all—learning from it is something to be enjoyed; to bring happiness."

People:  Flavien Nowack

Place:  Vallée de la Marne, Champagne

Varieties:  75% of the sites are planted to Pinot Meunier (with the resulting 25% to Chardonnay and 10% to Pinot Noir)

Hectares:  35 parcels across a total of ten hectares

Farming:  Biodynamic with elements of agroforestry

Did You Know? Flavien is working to create what he calls “les clos environmentals.” Clos in French means a wall, and it nods to the old tradition of enclosed vineyards. Simply put, an environmental clos is the notion of surrounding your vineyard plots with trees and bushes. 

“Here, in the Vallée de la Marne, there were historically many kinds of trees. In particular, it was famous for its cherries. I can still hear my grandpa talking about the cherry harvest with my father. Someone would then come and buy them, and they’d be sold in the markets of Paris.”

By planting trees and bushes, it better project the vineyards from any chemical drift coming from neighbours working conventionally. By planting an array of different species, it will bring extra diversity. The species he is planting include field maple, ash, hornbeam, elm, whitebeam, sorb, white mulberry, lime, willow, peach, pear, apple and—of course—cherry.

He adds,

“The vine is fragile because we’ve planted it for the sole purpose of creating wine. We must research how we may perpetuate balance for our vines’ ecosystem. If other species of plants and trees can help a vineyard—well, that can only be beneficial.” 

"We focus too much on what we can see: we see the vines' growth above ground. But that work comes from the microorganisms. We don’t understand enough about soil. The more diversity there is in a vineyard, the more complex a root system under the surface. In turn, this means...

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