Sandia Chang of two Michelin-star Kitchen Table, Bubbleshop, and Bubbledogs (RIP), as well as leading sommelier with extensive knowledge about grower Champagnes, has shared her top three independent producers with us.
Sandia’s Top Three Independent Champagne Producers:
In 1986, Eric Dhondt and Edith Grellet decided to stop selling off their grapes to négociants and started Dhondt-Grellet. One of the rising stars of Grower Champagne, Adrien took over from his parents in his 20s and has already made quite a name for himself. His methods of harvesting riper grapes, showcasing more of their terroir by producing site-specific cuvees and using a solera system (that dates back from 1986) in his blend of wines has set him apart from his Champenois colleagues.
Olivier and his wife, Marie, trained in Burgundy and have taken their very Burgundian winemaking style into Champagne. They reside in a lesser-known area of Champagne called the Côte de Bars and continuously champion the unique terroir and energy of their village of Les Ricey. Biodynamic farming is not their only method to create beautiful Champagne: Olivier has also built a studio in the cellar for his band to practice in, believing that the vibration of music will create happy wines.
Eric was once the cellar master at Krug and is also the mayor of his Grand Cru village, Ambonnay. He is a mad scientist in his style of blending Champagnes that is very much in tune with the Krug style. His wines are not only complex but always intriguing and contemplative. As Ambonnay is home to great Pinot Noir, his Blanc de Noirs are second to none.