How to spot a grower's champagne


17 Jun - Interesting to note that sales of growers' champagnes have been healthier than most in this report on about how reluctant growers are to reduce yields, as requested by the houses.

One thing I should have spelt out in the introduction to my enthusiastic survey of more than 60 growers' champagnes  is how to spot when a champagne has been made by the enterprise that grew the grapes rather than by a bottler that bought and blended the wine.

Virtually all champagne front labels carry a little code next to the name of the producer as follows:

NM négociant-manipulant, one of the big houses/maisons/négociants

RM récoltant-manipulant, a grower who makes his or her own wine

CM coopérative de manipulation, one of the co-operatives

RC récoltant-coopérateur, grower selling wine made by a co-op

MA marque d'acheteur, buyer's own brand, usually a made-up label

So to find a grower's champagne, look out for the letters RM. To find a good grower's champagne (for by no means all of them are worth seeking out), check the name against all those listed in the articles you'll find by clicking on the growers champagne tag below.