Spit Happens #55 – Have you tried Grower Champagne?

Grower Champagne

Grower Champagne: In the big world of wine, there is a subcategory of wine we call bubble. This includes Cava, Prosecco, Spumante, Frizzante, Champagne and other variants.

The sub-category of Champagne is occupied by Big Companies like Veuve Clicquot, Moet Chandon, Mumm, Taittinger, and others. It’s also got another category called Grower Champagnes.

From Wikipedia  “Grower Champagnes are those Champagnes that are produced by the same estate that owns the vineyards where the grapes are grown. Récoltant-manipulant is the term in French, and the best grower champagnes can be identified by “RM” on the wine label.”

Growers Champagnes are a subset of a subset, but they deserve some love and attention. The distinction is quite significant. Big companies may or may not grow the grapes, and in some cases, they might not even make the base wine. They have a vision of the flavor profile they want for their house brand, and the art is in making a consistent product that tastes the same from bottle to bottle and year to year. Grower Champagnes are the antithesis of the big guys.

They are single individuals ( can’t even have a partner or family member growing grapes at another property) who grow the grapes, make the base wine, make it into Champagne, and bottle it themselves. They are idiosyncratic, with character and significant variety from year to year.

In my opinion, the finest source of information on Grower Champagne is an importer named Terry Thiese. I have been reading his catalogs for years and they are fantastic. He has a manifesto that he follows for choosing winemakers to work with.

The Theise Manifesto:

  • Beauty is more important than impact.
  • Harmony is more important than intensity.
  • The whole of any wine must always be more than the sum of its parts.
  • Distinctiveness is more important than conventional prettiness.
  • Soul is more important than anything, and soul is expressed as a trinity of family, soil, and artisanality.

I couldn’t agree more. Get his catalogs here.

Grower Champagnes I would look for in British Columbia would include Pierre Peters from the BC Liquor Stores, Gaston Chiquet and Paul Bara at Marquis Wine Cellars and Champagne Egly-Ouriet private BC Liquor Outlets, get in touch with That’s Life Gourmet Wine Agency to find these products.

Thanks for your time.

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Remember Spit Happens, tell your friends, drink great wine and eat great food.


David Lancelot

FAQs: Grower Champagne

What is Grower Champagne?

Grower Champagne refers to champagne that is produced by the same estate that owns the vineyards where the grapes are grown. Unlike larger champagne houses that might buy grapes from multiple vineyards, grower champagnes are crafted by the same people who tend the vine. This often results in champagnes that reflect the distinct characteristics and terroir of their specific vineyard.

How to Grow Champagne Grapes?

Growing champagne grapes, specifically the varieties used in Champagne like Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier, requires a cool climate and chalky soil, which are key to the terroir of Champagne, France. The process involves planting the vines in well-draining soil, pruning them carefully to regulate growth, and protecting them from diseases like powdery mildew. Harvesting is typically done by hand to ensure the quality of the delicate grapes.

How to Grow Champagne Mango from Seed?

To grow a Champagne mango (also known as Ataulfo) from seed, first, remove the seed from a ripe mango and clean it thoroughly. Place the seed in a damp paper towel or in a pot with well-draining soil, ensuring the flatter side is down. Keep it in a warm, humid environment, ensuring the soil is consistently moist but not waterlogged. It may take a few weeks for the seed to sprout. Once it grows into a sapling, it can be transplanted outdoors in a sunny, warm location with good soil. Patience is key, as it can take several years for a mango tree to start producing fruit.