CHAMPAGNE — This small Champagne house was founded in 1895 by Charles Gardet. His son, Charles, was born in that same year, 1895. Charles further developed the business, and in the 1920′s moved it to its current location in Chigny-Les-Roses, which is in the prestigious Montagne de Reims, just south of Reims. Since then, the business has been guided by family members who continue to respect their traditions and are meticulous about producing high quality wines.
The family vineyards include over 7 hectares of the Premier Cru vines near the estate in the sought-after Montagne de Reims region. Grapes are also discriminatingly bought from meticulous growers in the most prestigious areas of the Côte de Blancs and the Montagne de Reims. The family is obsessive about their fruit, because they know you cannot make great wines unless you start with great grapes.
The family’s vision to quality is seen also in the amount of time it ages its wines. By law, to be a non-vintage Champagne, the wine needs to age at least 15 months. But at Champagne Gardet, even their entry-level Champagnes are aged at least 2 years. Furthermore, to be a vintage Champagne, the wine needs to age for a minimum of 3 years, according to french law. Again, Gardet exceeds this standard and ages their vintage Champagnes at least 4 years. What they sacrifice in immediate cash flow, they more than make up in quality.
There is a special stye, fragrance, maturity, and finesse that all of the Gardet Champagnes have. And it’s only after years of patient work and loving care that these wines earn the right to bear the noble name of Champagne Gardet.
The City of Paris recently announced that it has chosen the Gardet Brut Tradition Champagne as the “Official Champagne of the City of Paris”. It will be served at all official City of Paris functions. This is a remarkable achievement for such a small producer — all the more so since Gardet was chosen through discriminating wine press and trade tastings (not because of a paid endorsement).
I have had the distinct pleasure of taking my France tour group to Champagne Gardet on several occasions since 2017.
This year I bring the house to you, here in Charlotte, for the most anticipated, and first-ever, Champagne-only 5-course wine dinner.