Internationally renowned winemaker Gilbert Gruet and his wife, Danielle, cultivated vineyards in the Champagne region of France for almost 30 years. They grew mostly grapes for sparkling wine, like Chardonnay, on land Gilbert inherited from his father. A Gruet family trip to the U.S. (focused on exploring American wine and winemaking, of course!) showed them the possibilities for méthode Champenoise wines – and they just happened to land on the perfect soil in New Mexico.
So the younger generation – brother Laurent, sister Nathalie and her young son Sofian – moved out West. About a decade later, they were successful enough to build a big facility in Albuquerque to produce their world-renowned wines. Whenever he was visiting from France, Gilbert would help out with the growing, harvesting and operations (he has since passed away – the same year that his kids’ winery sold 1 million bottles!). Sofian has now grown into the role of assistant winemaker, helping his uncle Laurent with every part of the process he’s known since he was a toddler.
We’re so glad that the Gruet family took a chance on the new frontiers of winemaking here in the U.S. Now we have access to some of the best Champagne-style sparkling wines this side of the pond. Cheers to that!