Arbane

Arbane is an ancient white wine grape variety grown in Champagne. While Arbane has largely been unfashionable since the turn of last century, the cult of the small grower, or Récoltant-Manipulant, has become increasingly pervasive since the the deregulation of the Champagne market in 1989 and with this, there has been increasing interest in obscure and indigenous grape varieties.

Certain producers, experimental on one hand and eager to sustain tradition on the other, fossick for older plantings. While new plantings fail to qualify for inclusion in the umbrella Champagne appellation, wines rendered from existing vines do. Moreover, the mainstream regional varieties of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier may be turned over to Arbane under the supervision of the INAO. This movement is noble in its attempts to save this historic vine from extinction.

Litigated similarly to Arbane are the other older permitted varieties, Petit Meslier, Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc. These may be blended or produced as mono-cépage varietal wines.

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