Charles Dufour, Champagne

Currently working 6 hectares around the village of Landreville in the far South of Champagne, Charles Dufour has managed to combine the region’s tradition of base wine blending with organic farming and a strict, low-intervention approach to vinification to produce a wine that has captured the imagination of more of Europe’s restaurants than he can supply over the last few years. And yet, along despite all the ‘natural’ kudos there is much more to Charles’s wines than any orthodoxy around the use of sulphites. Farming here is the primary activity and respect for the land and the quality of fruit that is grown is where the focus remains. Ferments are largely in barrel and always on native yeast without the use of sulphites. The wines then rest in barrel or tank for between 12 and 18 months before tirage. As well as ‘Bulles de Comptoir’, Charles also makes wine from his mother’s organic certified vineyards in Chervey, labelled ‘Bistrøtage’. These are long aged on the lees and produce really vinous Champagnes that sit as a companion to Bulles de Comptoir and show Charles’s foresight and ability as a dedicated and talented maker for the long term.