Sister-and-brother owners Anne and Antoine Malassagne are the great-grandchildren of Armand-Raphaël Graser. They took over in 1993 from their father and in just over twenty years, they have quietly yet confidently transformed AR Lenoble into one of the jewels of the Champagne region.
Anne and Antoine manage every aspect of the business personally, supported by a team of 12 individuals spread between the vineyards, the winery and the offices. AR Lenoble is 100% family-owned and 100% independent, with Jancis Robinson noting that they are “a small house making a big point."
The family have a strong commitment to organic Champagne making. At harvest time, the grapes are picked by hand, carefully sorted and then pressed in one of the 3 traditional wooden presses. Their experience working with the grapes, perpetual testing and openness to new methods and techniques make their sparkling ones some of the most delicious organic examples out there.
WHAT IS ORGANIC WINE?
Organic wines need organic grapes, so farmers eschew the use of artificial pesticides, chemical fertilizers and herbicides. The US and EU, two of the most prominent bodies in the organic wine certification game, have different rules regarding ‘organic’, particularly concerning the cellaring practices (which relates to how wines are stored before getting into the bottle).
So wine can be made with organically-grown grapes but needs to use organic yeast and avoid sulfites to be a USDA-certified organic wine. Similarly, complex rules exist in the EU, but total sulfite levels are limited (rather than banned). In both cases, the entire winemaking facility – and not just the farm – has to use organic practices.
That might seem complicated, but it’s easier if you just stick to the golden rule: follow the organic certification rules in respective winemaking regions. If possible, try to learn about the winemaker to see how they comply with organic legislation (or organic methods) in their country. If you ever get the chance, a visit to an organic farm is a fantastic opportunity to understand the sustainable vision of organic farmers.
Our regular delivery days are every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 1pm to 5pm. If you'd like a specific time outside of that, please let us know in the checkout notes.
Remember that if you're part of our Organic Wine Club, you can get discounted rates on both the wine and delivery – get in touch and we'll apply the discount for you.
For more information, please take a look at our delivery and FAQ pages.