New Hampshire, UK -- (SBWIRE) -- 06/19/2013 -- Some of the most exciting Champagnes today made are by small grape growers. For years almost all grape growers in the Champagne Region of France sold their grapes to big Champagne Houses like Moet and Chandon, Perrier-Jouet, and other large established brands. Many of these growers are now making and bottling their own Champagnes now.
Sometimes known as “Farmer Fizz” since it is literally made by the actual grape growers or farmers themselves, it shows more personality and terroir as it is made from grapes from one specific area, often even from one plot of vines, as opposed to big brand name Champagnes which are of necessity blends of grapes from many areas. If one is producing a sea of Champagne under one label, for example Dom Perignon, a lot of grapes are needed and are sourced from multiple locations and blended to assure homogeneity of the final product.
“There are obviously fantastic wines being made by the big Champagne Houses, but the Grower Producers are producing fascinating and often compelling wines as well,” says ChampagnePoodle.com founder Ted Demopoulos. “When you look at producers like Vilmart, Jacques Selosse, and many others it is clear that the quality is through the roof as is the individuality of these wines.”
More and more often wine lists in superb restaurants are featuring Grower Champagnes and the amount exported and available locally is skyrocketing. Even mom and pop stores are sometimes carrying a few.
“Grower Champagnes are not all fantastic by any means,” says Ted Demopoulos.” I have had plenty in France that were not bad but not worth exporting. This is just like the vegetables I grow in my backyard are pretty good but not remotely worth exporting. However, with over 5000 different Grower Champagnes it should be no surprise that there are some real finds among them.”
ChampagnePoodle.com has profiles of dozens of the most compelling Grower Champagnes as well as the ones you are most likely to encounter. They are rapidly adding more, as well as tasting notes for specific bottlings.
You can tell if a bottle is Grower Champagne by looking on the label for “Récoltant-Manipulant”, the initials "RM" or "Proprietaire-Récoltant” which roughly translate to "bottled by the grower."
“I’ve got a backlog of dozens of bottles to try, and many more coming in regularly,” says Ted Demopoulos who tastes the majority of the wines himself. “It’s tough work but someone has to do it!” he merrily adds.
ChampagnePoodle.com was founded on a whim by Ted Demopoulos in 2009 to share his love of Champagne. Since its humble beginnings and a few reviews, it’s grown to hundreds of reviews, a travel section on Champagne, coverage of sparkling wines from other areas, and a free newsletter with enthusiastic subscribers.
Durham, New Hampshire