What is Grower Champagne?
Grower Champagnes are wines made from a producers own vineyard using only their own grapes. This means they look after every process from the crops all the way through to bottling and sales.
What makes Grower Champagne different to other Champagnes?
In the region of Champagne there are three types of producers; Houses, Coopératives and Growers.
There are 385 Houses, 41 Coopératives and approximately 3,995 growers who produce their own wines.
A Champagne house, also known as negociant-manipulant (N-M), buy the majority of their grapes from growers in order to meet the needs of its mass production. Some houses will still own their own vineyards and produce their own grapes however for the quantity of bottles they make a year they need to purchase a significant amount of grapes from growers.
Their speciality is making cuvées with a house style that is produced with the aim of having the same taste year on year.
This is made with a blend of grapes from around the region and different vintages. You will find a lot of these styles on your supermarket shelves such as Moet & Chandon, Veuve Clicquot and Taittinger to name some of the larger brands.
A Coopérative, also known as Coopérative-Manipulant (C-M), doesn’t own any of it's own vineyards and buys all it's grapes from Growers. The coopératives play a vital part in the Champagne eco-system, as they produce Champagne which can be sold as individual brands to supermarkets or as their own brands. So, if you see bottles labelled with the supermarkets name they are usually from a Coopérative.
Even though they don’t own any vineyards they still produce their cuvées themselves.
They will purchase either grapes or still wine after the grapes have been pressed and then blend them to make their wines. Some coopératives you may recognise are Nicolas Feuillatte, Palmer & Co and Champagne Collet.
A Grower Champagne producer, also known as Recoltant-Manipulant (R-M) as explained above, makes their own wines from their own grapes. However, not every grower makes their own wines. There are said to be over 16,000 growers in Champagne but only approximately 4,000 of them actually produce their own bottles. The rest of them will sell their grapes to the Champagne houses and Coopératives.
Growers account for roughly 90% of all the vineyards in Champagne so you can see why the big houses need them!
Grower Champagnes are becoming ever more popular especially on the continent and America. The UK is starting to take note of these emerging producers, however it is still very difficult to find a wide range of Grower Champagnes online, in retail and the hospitality industry.
Why have I never heard of Grower Champagne?
You may have already tasted Grower Champagne without knowing it. If you look at any bottle it will have either R-M, C-M or N-M this denotes what type of producer the wine has come from.
Even though there are more Growers by number, compared to the Houses and Coopératives, they produce much less volume as they do not purchase any grapes from other vineyards.
Globally, growers make up 18.6% of all exports, whereas in the UK they make up only 1.2%.
There are two key factors which attribute to this:
- Grower Champagnes production size and ability to export. Due to the smaller amount of bottles each Grower produces, means it is much harder for countries to get allocations of these wines to export, as there is limited production.
- UK consumers brand association and houses large marketing budgets. House champagnes are extremely popular in the UK due to their availability and classic style. This is helped by their large marketing budgets which have placed their wines at the forefront of the market for decades.
This is why we want to bring Growers to the UK and provide you with these remarkable wines to taste. To keep up to date with all our products, promotions and content please sign up to our email list below. If you haven’t already, drop us a like on Facebook and Instagram it would be great to connect!