Discover Artisan Champagne


Artisan Champagne
Illustration by Eleanor Crow

This autumn, we’re turning our attention to our most treasured sparkling wine region. Champagne offers an enormous wealth and diversity of style. However, this is often at risk of being overlooked in favour of the ‘big name’ brands. But all is not lost, explains Davy Zyw, as is proved by our Artisan Champagne winemakers.    

A few titanic Grandes Marques names and brands made the wines of Champagne famous. Their uniform cuvées trained consumers to expect consistency in Champagne styles.   

There are many wines to celebrate amongst these. However, they have only ever given us a binary view into Champagne. It’s a region which holds a huge wealth of terroir, style, winemaking talent and philosophy. This is why we’re focusing our attention on a new selection of wines – ones which represent the very pinnacle of artisan production.  

What is Artisan Champagne?

Artisan Champagne sits separately to the region’s “big-business” image. This category includes smaller-scale, lesser-known – and in many cases, undervalued – producers. Many of these producers craft grower Champagnes and own the winemaking process from start to finish. Their wines do sit outside the uniform style we have come to expect from the region. However, they represent a huge span of innovative approaches, winemaking techniques and terroir.  

Champagne is at the cusp of a climatic, cultural and commercial change. We believe our trailblazing Artisan producers are driving this shift, crafting wines with fresh vigour and confidence. Now is a fantastic time for customers to discover the new start of this historic region. 

Artisan winemakers and sustainability

The champagnois feel the effects of climate change acutely. Recent growing seasons tested both vines and terroir. They also exposed who the best farmers in the region are. Now, there is increased division between the vignerons who are responding correctly, and those who are not.  

Sustainability is at the core of the Champagne psyche. We are proud to support the increasing biodynamic, organic, and sustainable farming methods many of our Artisan Champagne producers practice.  

Artisan winemaking styles in Champagne

Blending sites, grapes and vintages is still paramount in Champagne. However, increasingly, many are choosing to vinify single crus separately, akin to Burgundy. This practice is not new, but it is becoming progressively popular – and it allows us to appreciate terroirs through a transparent lens.  

One of the best examples of the quality of this selection are Alexandre Penet’s lieux dits from the north-facing, Pinot Noir vineyards in Verzy and Verszenay. The wines are brave, detailed and self-assured. They will appeal to the most discerning of Champagne and Pinot Noir lovers. Or, look to young Bernard Doussot of Clandestin. Bernard trained in Meursault, before bringing new energy to the region’s southern vineyards of the Cotes des Bars.  

The future of Artisan Champagne

At Berry Bros. & Rudd, we certainly believe each glass of Artisan Champagne brings pleasure. But, there are commercial rewards to the region’s new guise. Increasingly, we are seeing growth in the Artisan producer category, with some releases even surpassing the price points generated by the most established prestige cuvées. Artisan Champagne doesn’t just bring delight to our dining table: now, wines from this category are proving a savvy, cellar-worthy investment too. 

Pairing Artisan Champagne with food

Champagne is often considered as an apéritif, and all too rarely as a wine to serve with food. Yet these wines, and particularly our diverse range of Artisan Champagne, pair beautifully with all sorts of food. Here, Davy recommends the best Champagnes to pair with a range of foods.

Appetisers and party platters

Look for a crowd-pleaser: a balanced Champagne with wide appeal. Something like Claude Cazal’s Millésime Blanc de Blancs or Crété Chamberlin’s C.D.B are good examples. These wines display every hallmark of their maker, while being approachable and appealing from the first pour. Their softer acidity and comforting finish work will work with a variety of pre-dinner foods.

Oysters and seafood

Oysters, shellfish and other seafood need acidity and seasoning to bring out their subtle, delicious nuances; Champagne does this like no other wine. Look for something like Les Fervins from Penet-Chardonnet or Cuvée 276 from Lafalise Froissart. These Champagnes have a mineral focus and high acidity while also displaying the saline energy gained from the chalk soils of the region’s best vineyards.

Vegetarian mains

Champagnes like Leclerc Briant’s Blanc de Meuniers and Waris Hubert’s Blanche showcase the region’s richer style. Open and generous, these wines have less of a mineral focus and more floral, earthy and savour characteristics. They are perfect with a range of vegetarian foods including roasted vegetables or garden lentils.

Festive feasts

Whether it’s Christmas dinner or another big, family-style occasion, festive feasts are some of the gastronomic highlights of our calendars. For your next big day, seek out powerful Champagnes which combine opulence and grandeur. La Chapelle du Clos from Claude Cazals would fit the bill nicely, especially from magnum – as would Fleury’s Boléro.

Spicy cuisines

Spicier dishes need Champagnes with some richness, and often a touch of sweetness to balance out the chilli heat. Something like La Vigne d’Or from Tarlant or Les Epinettes from Penet-Chardonnet would work wonderfully. These Champagnes all carry plump fruit charm, generous flavours and a little citrus-like zing – perfect with lightly spiced dishes.


Pairing Champagne with cheese is absolutely delightful. Waris Hubert’s Sans Sulfites Ajoutes, Les Hauts Boquets or Tarlant’s La Lutétienne would be ideal. They bring toasty richness, fruity acidity and creamy textures, brightening and enhancing any cheese board.

Our full Artisan Champagne offer is now available here.