A century ago, producers in departement Aube were not allowed to put 'champagne' on their labels. To be honest, this southern part, over 100 kilometers from Épernay, is a geographical far corner in the Champagne region. Yet the big maisons close to Reims bought their grapes from Aube: pinot noir does very well here.
After struggle and lobbying, Côte des Bar, part of the Aube, was enclosed in the AOP Champagne. You won't find premier or grand cru villages here, but all the more headstrong producers with their own style who make great, sometimes very personal champagnes.
One of them is Thibaud Brocard. Since 2009 he works the vineyards around Celles-sur-Ource that have been in the family since 1932. He took over the business from his father Pierre, still a very active contributor. Thibaud's first step: getting rid of pesticides and herbicides. In practice, Brocard works organically, and he uses the lowest possible amounts of sulphite.