4 Things To Know About Grower Champagne To Call Yourself An Expert
1. What Is Grower Champagne In One Simple Sentence
Grower Champagne producers are those who make their own wines with grapes from their own vineyards. That's it!
But in case if you would like to know more, let us expand a bit. Grower or Artisan Champagnes are sparkling wines made in the Champagne province of France and are grown, harvested and produced by the very same owners of the vineyards and are known as Récoltant Manipulant or RM.
The grapes are sourced from their own vineyards, as opposed to sourcing from several vineyards that larger champagne houses may do.
2. Vineyard and Terrior - Dissecting the Jargon
Most of us know what a vineyard is - a place where Champagne growers grow their vines and harvest their grapes to produce wine which then gets turned to champagne.
Terrior on the other hand, is a bit more complicated. To put it simply, it is the environment where the wine is produced. We're talking about the climate, farming practises, soil type, other organisms growing in, on and around the vine plots and more.
What Growers Champagnes Focuses On
Grower Champagnes tend to be more 'terroir-focused' and are generally sourced from a single vineyard or closely located vineyards around a village. They are often described as 'artisanal winemakers.
They tend to produce a different, terroir focused style wine each year, with generally a lower dosage or quantity. Increasing numbers of growers are aging their wines for at least 3 years and often more, allowing the wines to fully express themselves before released to the market making it finer quality.
3. How Do You Know If The Champagne Is Produced By A Grower - Identifying Grower Champagne
There are clear definitions that we can refer to which help enable us to categorise a winemaker as a grower. The letters RM for Récoltant Manipulant define a Champagne as a Grower Champagne and are listed on the label of the bottle. An example of a Grower is Henry De Vaugency.
Many Growers who do not go on to produce Champagne often sell some of their grapes to the Negociant-Manipulants, the larger Champagne Houses such as Moet, Chandon and many others.
CM stands for Coopérative-Manipulant which is collection of smaller land owners in Champagne who collaborate in order to supply enough volume of grapes to produce a wine, an example of a CM or Coopérative-Manipulant is Champagne Le Mesnil. Sometimes they are grouped in the 'Grower Category' as they own land and the use the grapes from their own land however by clear definition they are not.
MN Négociant-Manipulant is the defintion given to the main Champagne producers who both grow on their own land and buy-in due to the large volumes of Champagne they need to supply. Large houses or Grand Marques are those such as Veuve Clicquot or Bollinger and smaller houses such as Marie Demets.
4. Meet The Growers
We are proudly working with a variety of Champagne growers and are able to bring the finest quality lesser known brands to you.
Since 1876, we have developed our expertise and our family tradition of farming the vineyard. The result is that, with more that 30 hectares of vines, we make champagne Appellation d'Origine Controlee. This quality product we obtain by performing precise blend of two grape varieties: Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
The eight family members are naturally positioned in key roles and are happy to work as a family. And they continue to repeat that the experience is a real opportunity.
Values which unite the generations
For the fourth generation which is quietly preparing to take the company’s reins, best practice has been to go elsewhere to prove their skills.
Great Britain, USA, China, New Zealand, Tasmania or South Africa, everyone has travelled and got involved in projects with foreign contacts or sometimes in other roles without a direct link with the company.
Each experience has deepened their technical skills, their understanding of the markets where they have been able to take away the benefits for the Moutard winery.
There is no birthright here. Between brothers and cousins, the jobs have been distributed based on skills. When you know someone well, it is easier to identify their qualities, faults and values . Respect is also an essential value for the success of the company.
This is why all members of the Moutard family look in the same direction: development and creating cuvées in their image of perfectionism and their love for their job.
The House Huguenot-Tassin, champagne producer, was created in 1984 by Benoît and Marie-Claire Huguenot. The patchy, restricted at first, has grown and is now made of 7 hectares. Today, the quality and pleasure philosophy is perpetuated by two children of the family, Edouard Huguenot and Adeline Mandron. The reasoned culture of the vines, closer and closer than the organic way, allows us to harvest high quality grapes while respecting the environment. This balance, essential to every sustainable development, is respected each step of the wine making and rising of our champagnes, for our pleasure as well as for yours and your children’s. Because “We don’t inherit our parents’ field, we borrow it to our children” (Antoine de Saint Exupéry)