The secret to the magic of Drappier -- the only famous House located in the Aube -- is they operate much more in the vein of a grower: they own most of their vines, farm organically and biodynamically (sometimes plowing with a horse), focus on terroir with a slew of single parcel bottlings and continue to push the quality forward with experimentation in every aspect, never settling for status quo. But being able to buy grapes also gives them the flexibility of a House, along with much greater stocks of reserve wine and a huge Cistercian cellar to store a LOT of library bottles.
Champagne boasts some of the world’s greatest luxury brands with Krug, Cristal and, of course, Dom Perignon. But it’s also home to hundreds of small dynamic producers—farmers who grow their own grapes (often organically) and make (often with natural methods) tiny amounts of pure and absolutely delicious wine that reflect the individual personalities of their villages and terroirs. Toast with these wines, for sure. But also treat them like the great wines they are: taste, drink, explore!