La Rogerie- Champagne & Alsace
When we think of Avize- there is one major producer that automatically comes to mind- Selosse.
If we think about Alsace, Albert Boxler is always part of the conversation.
After a visit to champagne this year when we think Avize or Alsace, we are thinking a bit differently. One of the best parts of following iconic producers is seeing young talent emerge from them. Francois Petit- born and raised in Avize and having spent time influenced by some of our favorite winemakers. He has now taken the reins from his father and is giving us another name to focus on when the village Avize is being talked about. By his side, Justine Boxler, of the Boxler family in Alsace. Besides how delicious the wines are, something that is setting them apart besides how great their wines are is the fact that Justine didn’t leave Alsace for Champagne and Francois didn’t leave Avize for Alsace- rather they decided to conquer both.
Justine and Francois took over Francois’ fathers old vineyards starting in 2015. They had the idea, like many others, that they needed to bring the vineyards in another direction- healthy, earth conscious farming. It was this same year they installed cellars in Alsace to make sure they were staying true to their heritage, passion, and focusing on both regions
La Rogerie - Champagne
Their vineyards are in Avize extending to the border of Cramant and Oger. These vineyards are famously known for their chalky rich soils made up of marine fossils. They are moving to plowing very carefully everything by horse and lightweight tractors, have eliminated herbicides, insecticide, anti-botrytis, chemical fertilizer, and are using homemade organic compost with the goal of encouraging the natural growth and development of organic biodiversity in the vineyards, to extract the purest form of terroir as possible.
Something else that is incredibly unique about La Rogerie- Justine and Francois have recently moved into a farmhouse that has been in the family for quite some time. One of their visions is taking this place they have now made home and also creating a farm that supports and directly translates to their winemaking.
A small note from Justin and Francois
” We make our compost from there, thanks to the straw from our own field plus the manure of the horses who also live there too.
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 with Justine and Francois was their passion and dedication to their roots. I think it is pretty easy to find winemakers who have moved from their home village to another to start making wine, or have grown up in the region and make wine there, but it isn't as often we see winemakers come together to one place from two separate villages and continue to make wine in both. Justine Boxler from Niedermorschwihr, her last name probably sounds familiar as it is one of my personal favorites, and top producers in Alsace. They set up roots back in her hometown in 2016 and have been making two incredible examples of everything Alsace should and can be.