David Faivre, the winemaking Youtuber people can’t get enough of!

Nov 18, 2020 • 5 mins

Members of the Grappers community, if you spend a lot of time online, you’re unlikely to have missed him! Instagram, Facebook, Youtube or LinkedIn, David Faivre is THE digital wine producer you can access anytime, anywhere.

Nominated for the "Young Talents of Champagne 2020" Trophies, active member of the "Cercle des Créateurs de Champagnes Confidentiels", he has even put on a live event with the talented wine influencer Margot Ducancel (Rouge aux Lèvres) and, when the harvest was in full swing, he hosted Edouard Bergeron, the director of the poignant film "Au nom de la terre" (In the name of the land) which highlights the malaise of those who live on the land.

The icing on the cake was when Guillaume Canet, star of the film and patron of the "Cultivons-nous" channel, gave him a shout-out on his Facebook page. In short, and as you will have gathered, David Faivre is increasingly becoming the Champagne wine producer to follow. This week, in this exclusive interview with him, we discovered why.

He is uber-accessible and shares everything with his community

His growing fame won't change a thing, David personifies simplicity. Smartphone in hand, day and night, he films himself with modesty and humour as he goes about his daily business, sharing the ins and outs of his winemaking craft with his followers. Pre-pruning, planting some Pinot Blanc, driving the tractor, among the vats, reminiscing about wine tastings, David shares everything with his community from his base in Belval-sous-Châtillon.

I'm keen to introduce my wines to a wider audience who are not necessarily immersed in the Champagne culture. Today, they’re more focused on the experience, the emotion and the bond they create with their wine producer. They’re just as interested in the person as they are in the style of the communication or the wines. I think that meeting and interacting with your wine producer is the best way to learn more about what you are drinking.
David Faivre

He is gradually turning his dreams into reality

By the way David, how and why does one go from being a member of a cooperative winery to producing one’s own wines? 

By the end of 2016, I’d already been thinking about it a lot. So, I plucked up my courage and told my father about my project of leaving the Cooperative in order to produce my own wines - authentic and accessible terroir wines. After a moment’s blank, he understood. He had also felt that things were changing and he knows that we’re now heading in the right direction. Despite his modesty, I think he’s proud to see his son following his dreams. On the other hand, I never imagined that it’d be so much work!”.
David Faivre

David has wasted no time since he returned to the Domaine in 2000 and has set about modernising everything, starting with the vineyards where he has embarked on a transition to eco-friendly growing. The wine producer, a youthful forty-something- year-old, has reworked everything: grassing, ploughing, shorter pruning to control the vigour of the vines, mechanisation of some of the vineyard work.

The vineyards are already certified as being “HVE” (High Environmental Value) and “Viticulture Durable en Champagne” (Sustainable Viticulture); and since last January, they have been undergoing official conversion to organic growing. For his pressing and vinification units, the boy from Belval took things more gradually and built them with the means at his disposal. As for the winemaking part, the child of the vines has learnt everything alongside an oenologist and friend, Richard Dailly. "The adventure began barely 4 years ago, there’s still a lot to do before it’s over the line. You can't dream big right away, even if you’d like to", he says.

To build a communication aligned with his values, David immersed himself in what others were doing in the world of farming.

There are some ‘Agri-Youtubers’ that I like following. They create extremely engaging content and deliver strong messages. I told myself that it must possible to transpose this way of communicating to our industry and shake things up a little bit. Being a wine producer is 10 jobs in 1, consumers are not always aware of this. By showing them our everyday life and our various different jobs honestly, I hope they will be able to understand it a little bit better. Champagne is not just the big Champagne Houses, there are loads of small producers doing tremendous work every day to produce superb wines at affordable prices.
David Faivre

He’s a team player

David makes no bones about it. He wouldn't be where he is today without his “dream team”, who he mentions often. He is a good case of “we go faster on our own, but together we go further”.

By joining the "Cercle des Créateurs de Champagnes Confidentiels", David has been able to accomplish his objectives: to promote a common AOC, champion vinification in barrel and grow alongside other talented wine producers. Always supportive of his colleagues, he rejoices in their success.

His wines are absolutely stunning!

Even if COVID-19 temporarily prevents him from receiving his visitors in his tasting room called the "Le Clocher qui penche", this does not seem to stop this bon vivant who continues to interact daily with his community, giving it what it needs: live events on Instagram, virtual trade fairs, online store, partnerships, David is busy on all fronts to promote his fabulous champagnes. Talking of which, I've tried them and his terroir champagnes are absolutely stunning!

Our two favourites at Grappers :

• David's iconic Champagne : Reflet Naturel

When you taste it, you immediately understand why it’s an icon. A Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut exclusively from the 2017 vintage. A single-cru, single-varietal (100% Meunier) champagne with single-plot vinification which illustrates their love of finely-crafted work and their attention to detail. "With this champagne, we’ve got very fine bubbles and plenty of fruit. It’s a fresh, joyful, festive champagne, ideal for the younger generation. It can be enjoyed with seafood or smoked salmon appetizers for a light aperitif”.

• Les Champs de Romy

Just like David's 4-year-old daughter, this champagne is full of surprises. "The terroir of Belval is usually planted with Meunier, the king grape variety of the Vallée de la Marne. Here, the Champs de Romy allows the Chardonnay to express a fruity originality with notes of exotic fruit".

In case you were wondering, David’s heart is already taken and, sadly, I can't do anything about that! On the other hand, I do have one piece of advice for you: follow him on social media and treat yourself to one of his champagnes!

Wine & Curious

A Friday-night treat?

Sushi paired with the Reflet Naturel.

If you weren’t a wine producer, what might you have been?

Communication consultant.

In one word, being a wine producer is:

Exciting (but you're always overloaded with work!)

Who inspires you?

Thierry Marx because of his charisma, his professionalism and his respect for values.

What did you last laugh about with your team?

When people still ask us where our Brut Réserve has gone. We've been talking about our new wines for 5 years now...

Article written as part of an educational project of the Wine Journalism University Diploma of the Georges Chappaz Institute - University of Reims