We have been saying this for quite some time, things are changing. However, in the case of Valentin Tribaut, not as much as we may think. We aren't speaking in regards to his winemaking choices, but rather his exposure. When we met with him this winter, we had an incredible tasting and conversation, after which he said "Okay, well you won't have much communication from me until you come back." He doesn't have Instagram nor ever will, doesn't have his winery's address on any maps, and essentially wants to keep it "off the grid". Maybe that lack of screen time has given him that much more time to focus on his wines, because wow - for his first and second vintage, impressive is an understatement.
Champagne Tribaut Schloesser may be a wine you have heard of before; this is his father's winery, which he is still running alongside his brother. Like so many other young vignerons, they are leaving the family work as is, and looking to put their creativity, innovation, and passions to work elsewhere. Valentin is quite lucky as his closest neighbor happens to also be his cousin who by chance has one of the most famed vineyards and wines in all of Champagne at the moment: Aurelien Lurquin. If you are going to start making wine, wouldn't you want it to be with some of the highest quality grapes where the farming practices are at all-time highs?
With Maison Raday, everything is a tribute to the unique local terroir. The Domaine name comes from the river which crosses the villages of Romery, Cormoyeux and Fleury la Rivière. This has created the valley where for several generations the Tribaut family has cultivated its vineyards
Viticulture and Vinification
Valentin Tribaut is getting his grapes from Crayeres du Levant, a vineyard most people know well by now due to Aurelien Lurquin. Aurelien has been farming his vineyards biodynamically since 2012. Outside of that, he really is known as a true farmer. By that I mean, if you ask anyone where he spends most, or arguably all, of his time- it is the vineyard. When you meet him, he is humble, quiet, incredibly generous, and enjoyable to be around. Rather soft spoken, but when it comes to his vineyards- he couldn't be more disciplined, persistent, committed, and focused on what he wants. The hard work has definitely paid off.
The first vintage was 2018, with just 2000 kg of grapes, equal parts Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. In 2019, Valentin decided to start working with grapes from Regis Poissinet, a biodynamic winegrower in Cuchery that he knows very well and has always given high praise to his farming. When we introduced Champagne Chavost, we were trying to re-introduce what the term co-op can mean and we feel similarly to Valentin being a negociant. Unlike many others, his philosophy is to transcribe the singularity of each terroir and the ethics, hard work, and expertise of our winegrowers. One each label he states the winegrower's name, ensuring their efforts are recognized. Vinification is carried out in the most natural way possible. The aging of the wines in barrels is done without any additions with as little intervention as possible.