Terroir Champagne: my book project through crowd funding

On October 20th I have launched a crowd funding campaign to try and raise €10,000 to self publish the first book on environmentally friendly Terroir Champagne. The tittle of the book says it all: Terroir Champagne: the Luxury of Sustainable, Organic and Biodynamic Cuvees. The aim is to have the book published and delivered by September 2015.

It is no secret that I have long been drawn to Terroir Champagne – in fact it was my love for these wines full of character and soul that drew me to the region almost 3 years ago. Living here I quickly realized that Terroir Champagne’s identity was created in the vineyard. After all if we want to talk terroir, we need to have a living soil. Whilst this seems quite logical I found out rather quickly it is also quite rare in Champagne. This is why I feel that these environmentally friendly produced Terroir Champagnes are the real luxury cuvees of the region, in the sense the word was originally defined: rare, hand made and authentic.

As I visited more terroir producers, many of whom work organically and biodynamically, the idea came to share my experiences and out this often closed world of small producers so others could more easily discover these often generally limited production Champagne cuvees. I first wanted to put all of the info I had online, so I registered the TerroirChampagne.com domain – but something seemed to stop me… As the summer turned cold and grey in August, so did my mood; I got more and more frustrated as to what I needed to do with all the Terroir Champagne information I had gathered… The answer finally came when the sunshine returned in September: the fact that I believed these Champagnes are the real luxury required my findings to be presented in a luxury package. And however great my love for the internet, yet another (paid) site would not do justice… Instead I had started to dream of a hardcover book, with beautiful pictures and illustrations…. I knew however, that if I wanted to stay neutral, I would have to find a way to control the publishing process which brought me to the self-publishing idea.

Earlier this year, in the middle of spring I had received Wink Lorch’s Jura Wine Book. Wink’s remarkable Kickstarter Campaign in March/April 2013 had allowed her to raise around £14,000 to self publish the first English book on Jura wine. Knowing how small the production of Jura wine is and how few bottles are exported inspired me to go down the same route. After all, even if I only talk about a fraction of the total Champagne sales, a big chunk of these wines are exported so we are still looking at a considerably larger amount of bottles that the Jura wine exports.

Having an example of how it could be done worked both in favour and disfavour of my campaign. Positives were that I had a proven model to follow, and I did take inspiration from Wink’s campaign on several levels. Whilst I had to choose a different crowd funding platform (Kickstarter is not available in France) I was greatly inspired by her reward system and video; so much that I decided to include other speakers in the video, just as she had. I am eternally grateful that Australian Fine Wine Importer Ian Westcott, Natural Wine guru Isabelle Legeron MW, Swiss Champagne Ambassador Kat Morse and Author and Philosopher Cain Todd agreed to share their passion for Terroir Champagnes in my video, made by the very talented Onneca Guelbenzu

However, I found out that following a very successful example is also quite nerve racking… Ever since I put my Terroir Champagne – THE BOOK campaign life on Indiegogo my life has been an emotional roller coaster, going up with every pledge only to fall down again as the campaign was quite slow to start. Luckily last week the pace picked up and I am happy to report to be just over the half way mark with 21 days to go!!! Having said this I do realize that I will have to hand sell many more books in the next 3 weeks to make the target and hopefully make a little more so I can be paid too. The target only covers all the costs surrounding the print run of 2000 hardcover books, the editing and illustrations as well as professional photographs. On this last topic I am very proud to announce that Mick Rock from Cephas, the same photographer who took Wink’s pictures; offered to collaborate on my Terroir Champagne Book Project just a few hours after I put the campaign live!!

That is why I have and continue to ask people who are interested in these more natural Champagnes to get behind my campaign and help me realize this project. The campaign will end on 30th November and I really need to collect the target of €10,000 (about US$12,500 or £7,800) within this time frame or I will receive no funds at all and will NOT be able to publish this book… In the case that the campaign would fail (god forbids), everybody who has pledged and supported the project will be refunded.

The video and text on the Indiegogo Terrior Champagne campaign page aims to explain the project and the book content. All donors will have their name included in the acknowledgements of the book. As well as an e-book and hard cover version which you can pre-purchase here for €20 and €25 respectively, I have also put together a selection of exciting perks, which will give you your own inside view into the exciting luxury world of Terroir Champagne!! So please if you can, get behind this project and help me publish the first ever book on environmentally friendly produced Champagne cuvees!! THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!!!

For anybody who hasn’t purchased it yet, you can still buy Wink’s Jura Wine Book here

About Caroline

Caroline is a certified Sommelier (by the CMS) and WSET diploma student. In order to specialize in the wines of Champagne she moved to the region and currently works as a wine consultant, wine educator and wine writer. She is a member of the Circle of Wine Writers and writes for several international publications including Palate Press, Snooth, Wine-Searcher, Decanter and Vinogusto; further activities include teaching Champagne related courses at Reims Management School and organizing personalized tasting experiences at http://www.tastingswithatwist.wordpress.com as well as being a regular judge at international wine competitions.
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