As grower Champagnes appear with increasing frequency in the marketplace, we thought it was time to pop the hood (or cork) and take a closer look at them. The name “grower Champagne” is generally given to the sparkling wines of Champagne that are not produced by the larger houses, négoçiants or coopératives. The more complete definition, however, denotes those wines which are grown, vinted, and bottled by a small grower. These small growers, or récoltant-manipulants, are able to purchase only 5% of their own grapes for this purpose, so their production is a relative drop in the bucket of the total volume of Champagne that is produced. And yet, it is quite telling that they are gaining a increasing reputation for both their quality and their affordability.
A talk with Terry Theise, who has a number of these grower Champagnes in the portfolio of his Terry Theise Estate Selections. We’ll learn about the contribution of these small growers - what they bring to the Champagne region in general and how their product differs from the larger houses.