Timothée is one of the beacons of light for a brighter future in Champagne. Together with a handful of other eco-conscious grower Champagne vignerons, he has been farming organically for many years to reestablish an ecosystem in his vineyards. Winemaking is also very natural - low sulfites and no manipulation: a rarity.
LITTLEWINE visited Timothée in Champagne
The header photograph is Timothées organic vineyard on the right, vs a neighbouring conventional vineyard on the left
"When I first arrived, everyone used to laugh and take the piss out of me for having grass in my vineyards. They told me I didn’t know how to farm."
People: Timothée Stroebel
Place: Montagne de Reims, Champagne
Varieties: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier
Wines: Click here
Did You Know? Timothée has also been focusing on his still wine creations; something which many winemakers in the region would still balk at. Creating still wines in a region known for sparkling wines has never fazed him, the result being that his Coteaux Champenois are considered amongst the most thrilling examples coming from Champagne.
It was a long, slow process for him to nurture his vines back to health, which culminated in achieving organic certification in 2014. He works almost without machines, instead working his soils by horse and plough with his own two horses, Bijou and Quina. He also uses as little copper as possible, instead experimenting with other mildew preventatives, such as microbe enriched water together with orange oil and compost teas. The goal is that these positive microbes stick to the vine leaves with the orange oil, so that there is simply no space for the mildew to take hold. These experiments are carried out with the eventual goal of trying to eliminate the need for copper. All his work is carried out with the goal of promoting soil health; in order to boost the vineyards’ ecosystem and attract insects and birds. He says,
“When I walk amongst my vines, feet treading on the earth, I can see, hear and feel everything alive moving. In those vines - he points to the bare earth of the neighbouring vineyards - there is no sound.”
Pinot Meunier is too often unfairly overlooked in Champagne, but here it is Timothée’s diamond in the rough. He says,