The Wine

A deep and abiding respect for Laetitia's estate-grown fruit is the mark of Eric Hickey's winemaking. Beginning his hands-on training in the cellar at the tender age of 16, Eric has lived and breathed Laetitia all the way to the top, where he is now the Head Winemaker and the winery's President. "I keep it simple," he says, "and I stay eye-to-eye with Lino because the interplay between us is what determines the wines' quality. Everything done in the cellar starts with what we do out in the vineyard." While Eric makes a point of experimenting with small lots each vintage, his style is fundamentally built upon finding balance, finesse, and the essence of the fruit he has come to know for so many years. Similarly, Laetitia's Sparkling Winemaker and Vice President Production, Dave Hickey, is a self-described student of the vines. "The vineyards were planted in 1982, and I came on in 1985," he says. "Working with the same fruit for so long translates into a lot of knowledge." Trained in Méthode Champenoise winemaking by French traditionalists, Dave uses the winery's Coquard grape presses (the only two in North America and the gold standard for winemaking in Champagne) as the foundation for sparkling wines that have attracted devotees to the Laetitia Estate for decades.

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