For serious wine connoisseurs, the end-of-year season hardly means letting the bubbles run dry—in fact, quite the opposite. From classic winter pairings (oysters, seafood towers, gooey cheese dishes, and more) to celebrating the little things, Champagne and winter sipping go hand-in-hand. As many wine drinkers vow to sip more thoughtfully this year, we are excited to share the debut of Champagne de Saint-Gall to the US Market. We chatted with Cellar Master Cédric Jacopin and learned tips for discovering great Champagne.
Branch Out from Bigger Names
Big brands tend to get all the love, though from a quality perspective, most professionals generally set their sights on smaller estates. While there are certainly exceptions, artisanal wine brands often have a closer oversight of the winemaking process, meaning that quality control is generally easier to maintain. To put it simply, Jacopin cites the famous French saying, "Tout ce qui est petit est mignon!" – everything that's small is cute! This year, rather than reaching for familiar names, dive into something smaller—you never know what hidden gems you may find.
Seek Out Terroir-Focused Properties
For those looking for site-specific wines, seeking out terroir-focused estates is key. Jacopin explains that individualized Champagne brands often benefit from a marked terroir effect. "The Champagne de Saint-Gall cuvées have a geographical identity and are very marked by the Premier and Grand Cru origin of their grapes," he says, emphasizing the "exceptional terroir" that makes Champagne de Saint-Gall so unique.
Champagne de Saint-Gall uses an exclusive supply of fruit sourced from Premiers and Grands Crus vineyards from Côte des Blancs and Montagne de Reims to create its world-class cuvées, which are aged longer than regional minimums (between three and five years on the lees versus 15 months) before release.
Learn the Benefits of Cooperatives
Regardless of size, Jacopin notes there are numerous benefits to working in a cooperative system. "Beyond a small or a large brand, we favor the cooperative system with its societal and sustainable approach," he explains.
According to the Comité Champagne, "sharing knowledge and cooperation are examples of Champagne makers' key guiding values." The committee goes on to state that for many, a community spirit is more important than individual motivations, thus, "this decision to work together is evident throughout the production process, a cooperative venture in which the human dimension is always at the center." In building a model focused on pooled resources and knowledge, the regional cooperative creates social and economic solidarity, while simultaneously offering an alternative outlet to which local growers can sell their fruit.
Be the First to Know!
Staying in the know about new releases and market debuts is key to discovering great wines, and Champagne is no exception. Deemed a "new generation" cooperative, Avize-based Champagne de Saint-Gall is a new-to-market brand that offers a high-quality wine at competitive pricing, perfect for all your 2023 celebration needs.
How to Best Enjoy Champagne de Saint-Gall
Jacopin states that as with non-sparkling wines, the intricacies of vintage and cuvée specifics must also be considered when enjoying Champagne. "The Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru is perfect as an aperitif accompanied by seafood, while the Cuvée Orpale pairs beautifully with poultry – perfect for Thanksgiving!" he explains. Of all de Saint-Gall's cuvées, Jacopin describes the Tradition Premier Cru as the 'guilty pleasure' wine. "It's the easy wine, meant to be opened as soon as you're in good company, no matter the time or day," he says.
Above all, Jacopin shares that in addition to being an enjoyable wine year-round, Champagne remains the wine for special occasions and unforgettable celebrations!
« CHAMPAGNE DE SAINT-GALL: The quintessential art of crafting fine Champagne »
Blessed with an exceptional terroir, CHAMPAGNE DE SAINT-GALL takes a collective approach to implementing winemaking expertise passed down from generation to generation. Thanks to the unrelenting passion of its winegrowers and winemakers, CHAMPAGNE DE SAINT-GALL has honed its methods over time, to produce highly singular Grand Cru and Premier Cru Champagne wines of a pure, elegant style. Master craftsmen of the Chardonnay grape variety and experts when it comes to Pinot Noir, the men and women of CHAMPAGNE DE SAINT-GALL work to transform the region’s choicest grapes and vines into fine Champagne wines. They are united by a common passion for winemaking, a sense of duty and a desire to share this precious knowledge: they are the guardians of an invaluable legacy that must be carefully preserved as it is brought to fruition.
For more information, visit: de-saint-gall.com