Champagne Brands vs Champagne Growers
In addition to big brand champagne houses, which typically own vineyard plots scattered around the 34,000 hectare Champagne region of France in order to give them the best chance of producing a consistent consumer-friendly non vintage tipple year on year, there are a vast amount of ‘grower’ champagnes, which currently account for an astounding 88% of all champagne production.
A grower champagne is more comparable to vintage champagne in its goal although, where a vintage champagne seeks to tell the story of a given year, a grower champagne tells the story of a given location or ‘terroir’. The result? A more unpredictable champagne that can easily suffer from a poor vintage and result in a lesser quality champagne or one that can thrive in favourable weather and develop into a beautifully crafted, expressive and fantastic value bottle of bubbles.
Try a pricey vintage from a big name for now, but next time, maybe it’s worth taking a punt on an artisanal grower champagne - you will soon find your favourite and, who knows, you may discover the next big name.
Has this made you thirsty for champagne? Why not head over to France and try a full-day private discovery tour in Champagne? Or if you haven’t the time to pop over the channel, here are 6 of the best spots in London to drink champagne. Chin Chin!