In France, everything that goes into a wine is considered and accounted for. Quality and authentic expression of terroir are often believed to exist only if every ingredient, which includes grapes, bacteria, lactic acids and yeast, are reviewed, approved and documented by the Institut National des Appellations d\u2019Origine. The organization was founded by Baron Pierre Le Roy Boiseaumari\u00e9 in 1935, and the precursor to the Appellation d\u2019Origine Contr\u00f4l\u00e9e (AOC) wine classification system.\r\n\r\nBut many say that the very rigor that\u00a0 helped create some of the world\u2019s most lauded wines is also threatening its supremacy.\r\n\r\nThe issue has come to a head in the Champagne region recently, when the AOC discovered through an Instagram post that organically farmed, biodynamic eighth-generation producer Lelarge-Pugeot was using honey in the dosage of one of its Champagnes, the Bises.\r\n\r\n\u201cWe were not advertising the fact that we were using honey, and we hoped that we would escape notice because there\u2019s nothing explicit in the rules that say you cannot use it,\u201d says Cl\u00e9mence Lelarge-Pugeot, the export manager at her family\u2019s Champagne house. \u201cIt just says that the expedition liqueur may only contain sucrose or grape must, and honey is technically sucrose.\u201d\r\n\r\nIt uses honey only in the Bises line, which is made from the same base wine that goes into Lelarge-Pugeot\u2019s classic Blanc de Blancs, a blend of Chardonnay parcels grown on the estate\u2019s sandy loam soil.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nHoney and sugar are both made up of a combination of glucose and fructose. In sugar, they\u2019re bound together to form sucrose, which comes in the form of sugar beets or sugarcane. With honey, fructose and glucose are largely independent from each other.\r\n\r\nLelarge-Pugeot\u2019s family turned to honey as a more honest and authentic evocation of their terroir, as well as a more responsible ecological choice.\r\n\r\n\u201cWe are beekeepers,\u201d says Lelarge-Pugeot. \u201cThis honey comes from our land. It\u2019s essential to us that we make our footprint as small as possible in every way, and it is the product of bees that gather nectar from our land. The only organic source we could find for sugar is from halfway across the world.\u201d\r\n\r\nWhile AOC agents were sympathetic, a strict interpretation of the rule was enforced. As of March, the last pallet of wine that used honey in the dosage shipped to California and New York. In the meantime, Lelarge-Pugeot has submitted an application for permission to use honey. She says the process will take \u201cat least a year,\u201d but that other producers are excited.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\u201cWe believe that being able to have the option to use local honey is the right thing to do philosophically and ecologically,\u201d says Lelarge-Pugeot.\r\n\r\nThe label\u2019s U.S. importer, Jennifer Green of Super Glou, is also hopeful.\r\n\r\n\u201cHow would it be possible to get a more authentic taste of Champagne\u2019s terroir than by using local honey?\u201d says Green. She says the difference in taste is subtle, but the honey adds a roundness to the texture.\r\n\r\nIn Oregon, where a more freewheeling approach to viniculture exists, winemakers like Joe Wright of the Willamette Valley\u2019s Left Coast are super sweet on honey.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\u201cWe\u2019re beekeepers, grape growers and preservationists,\u201d says Wright. \u201cAbout 20% of our 500 acres is devoted to oak tree preservation. By the end of August, we have hundreds of gallons of honey, and while we sell a lot of it in the tasting room, it made perfect sense to us to use this product, which is from our land, to make sparkling wine.\u201d\r\n\r\nLeft Coast\u2019s Queen Bee Bubbly is made from Pinot Noir grapes, with honey added to jumpstart the second fermentation. \u201cIt\u2019s riper and rounder, and gives you a real sense of what our estate smells like,\u201d says Wright. \u201cJasmine, dry summer grass, honey, peaches.\u201d\r\n\r\nAt its best, terroir holds many things. It\u2019s a place for elegance, sophistication and subtlety, but it\u2019s also a showcase for local flavor and authenticity.