3 Steps to Better Understanding Grower Champagne
Grower Champagne: Back to Basics
Bubbles are bubbles, right? Well, when you get down to it, this isn’t exactly the case. Let’s imagine you have just started your Champagne journey and want a quick refresher on all of the must-know facts. We’re happy to educate you! In order to be called Champagne (vs. sparkling wine), the grapes must be grown in the Champagne region of France and must adhere to certain regulations in the process of producing the delicious nectar. Within Champagne, there is a delightful subset called Grower Champagne. It’s in this subset that your most memorable Champagne experiences will thrive! Characterized by the grower-producers and their families who diligently cultivate each vintage, Grower Champagne is defined as the Champagne that a single vineyard yields. Showcasing the characteristics of a particular village or even a singular plot of land, the result of this process is a unique, artisanal experience.
Taste the Extraordinary 13%
So, why haven’t you heard much about Grower Champagne before? It likely has to do with simple math. With major Champagne houses (AKA Maisons) like Moët & Chandon or Veuve Clicquot making up 87% of the U.S. imports, much of the Grower Champagne that exists doesn’t make it over to the U.S. for you to try in the first place. Then, let’s take it one step further and point out that the priorities of Maisons and grower-producers differ greatly. The large Champagne houses focus on a consistent and brand-specific taste. They rarely grow their own grapes, instead focusing on sourcing grapes throughout the entire region. The emphasis of the remaining 13 percent? Showcasing the influence of the terroir (more on that in a minute) on that year’s vintage. Experience the rarity, diversity of flavor, and richness when you venture outside the typical labels you’ve come to recognize.
It’s All in the Terroir (Dirt)
Defined as how a region’s climate, soils, and terrain affect a wine’s taste, terroir is integral to Grower Champagne’s allure. Carrying not just regional terroir, but that of a single-vineyard empowers you to distinguish between the Champagnes from other grower-producers or even the same producer year-to-year.
Unlike the large Champagne houses who aim for a consistent taste regardless of the year’s growing season, Grower Champagne tells the story of that year’s climate and makes each uniquity a prominent feature of the vintage. This nuanced and multi-faceted approach places you right at the heart of true vinification.
Why are we so passionate?
When it all boils down, Grower Champagne is an incredible way to experience the art form that is Champagne-making. The distinctive flavors alone make a convincing case for your taste buds, but for us at Sherri’s Champagne, it’s even bigger than the taste. When we travel to Champagne to hand-select each club shipment, we have the opportunity to meet the grower-producers and to explore their incredible vineyards. Often a family affair, Grower Champagne is in their blood. To be connected to such a rich tradition like you are when we experience each vintage is a privilege. And to share it with fellow aficionados like you? That’s even better!
Ready to discover Grower Champagne? The Champagne Tasting Kit empowers you to explore the bountiful region of Champagne, France. Whether you’re new to French Champagne or just want to learn more about small Grower Champagne, this is a wonderful way to introduce and expand your palate.