Justine & Francois have succeeded in their challenge of crafting incredible wines from two very different, dominant wine-producing regions: Alsace and Champagne. The through-line is the focus on clean, healthy viticulture which has produce in both regions wines of incredible clarity and depth. In Champagne, old-vine Avize vineyards produce deep, rich and elegant Chardonnay-based wines, whereas in Alsace, Riesling is king along with Pinot Blanc and Auxerrois. Each year with the duo in charge, the resultant wines become exponentially more delicious!
One of the best parts of following iconic producers is seeing the young talent emerge from them. Francois Petit was born and raised in Avize and spent time with (what producers did he spend time with...It was Selosse they don't want us to mention that:)…He has now taken the reins from his father and is giving us another name to focus on in the village Avize. Francois' wife is Justine Boxler whose family runs Albert Boxler in Alsace. What makes this project super unique is Justine didn’t leave Alsace for Champagne and Francois didn’t leave Avize for Alsace...they decided that they would rather conquer both. Justine and Francois took over for Francois’ father starting in 2015. Right away, they started to farm differently. The focus was to ensure they had a healthy and sustainable vineyard. The same year they installed cellars in Alsace to make sure they were staying true to their word and focus on both regions.
LA ROGERIE - CHAMPAGNE
Their vineyards are in Avize and extend to the border of Cramant and Oger. These vineyards are famously known for their chalky rich soils made up of marine fossils. They carefully plow by horse and lightweight tractors, have eliminated herbicides/pesticides, and are using homemade organic compost. The goal is to encourage the natural growth and development of organic biodiversity in the vineyards and showcase the purest form of terroir. Justine and Francois have also recently moved into a farmhouse that has been in the family for quite some time. The vision is to have home and farm that supports their winemaking ideology!"We use the rest of our field seeds-oats, wheat, barley, mustard… to be sowed during winter into the vineyard in order to avoid having to protect the soils with anything other than natural protection, which increases the biomass and create less compaction in the soils.The vines were planted between 1937 and 1961 therefore the entire vineyard is composed of very old vines, massale selection”
LA ROGERIE - ALSACE
One of the things that really caught our attention when first meeting Justine and Francois was their passion and dedication to their roots. It is so rare to see winemakers come together to one place from two separate regions and continue to make wine in both. One of my favorite regions is Champagne. I don’t want to say I wasn't open-minded and offered equal excitement to both parts of production, but you can say I was most lit up about tasting the Champagnes. After one sip of the Brand Riesling and a bite of Alsatian style pizza from a local Baker, my mindset totally shifted. Little by little Justine's family has been giving them vineyards in Alsace. They are focusing on healthy farming, working as naturally as possible, and picking at optimal ripeness to preserve the acidity.
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