Located in Les Riceys, the Olivier Horiot domain has belonged to the same family for several generations. The villages that makes up Les Riceys have a tumultuous past (in its long history, it has been defined and redefined as both Burgundy and Champagne) yet Olivier Horiot has succeeded in producing innovative and unusual wines from biodynamic viticulture and natural processes. Les Riceys is in fact the only village in the Champagne region permitted to produce both non-sparkling (red and white Côteaux Champenois as well as rosé) and sparkling wines. Since 1999, Olivier Horiot has made it his mission to bring back the region's seven indigenous grape varieties, producing cuvées coveted by both beginners and seasoned enthusiasts. Olivier Horiot has been a revelation in the Champagne region in recent years. His family has lived in Les Riceys in the heart of the Côte des Bar part of Champagne for generations. Furthering its uniqueness, Les Riceys is the only one in Champagne to boast three appellations. One of these is Champagne, of course, but there are also two non-sparkling wine appellations: Côteaux Champenois (red and white) and Rosé des Riceys. The latter is an astonishing and aromatic rosé. Its appeal may be narrow, but the talent Olivier Horiot has ensured it is perfectly crafted. Horiot farms 8.5 hectares in the commune of Les Riceys. The majority is planted with Pinot Noir (classic variety for Aube), but he also grows Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Meunier and Arbane, an old, traditional variety that is increasingly popular with "specialised" winegrowers. Olivier Horiot has taken over new vineyard parcels (through family or acquisition) and since 2013, the vineyard has had official organic and biodynamic accreditation (Biodyvin). Olivier Horiot has also built and fitted out a brand-new cellar, providing the best possible conditions for wine production where the grapes can reach their full potential. Possibly inspired by nearby Burgundy, the domain is increasingly separating out its different terroirs into distinct cuvées. The result is superb champagnes with a strong personality that stand out from the often more anonymous blended champagnes.
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