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Grower Champagne - Why You Need to Drink It This Holiday
What is Grower Champagne and Why You Need to Drink It This Holiday
Champagne, France is home to the best sparkling wine in the world and have been making amazing sparkling wines for hundreds of years. Buying real Champagne can be expensive, especially when the most popular and well known brands cost nearly $50 at your local wine shop. Luckily, other wine regions have produced wines using the Champagne method to make a very similar product at a much lower price. There is something special about a real Champagne though, which is why they are always the best.
You probably recognize names like Moet & Chandon, Veuve Clicquot, and Bollinger. These are 3 of the most popular brands of Champagne, and we want to emphasize the word “brands”. Today we will talk about what a Grower Champagne is compared to these wines and why you should be drinking them instead.
The first thing we are going to talk about is the difference between a Grower Champagne and a Winery, like Veuve Clicquot. The first difference is self explanatory. The word “Grower” in Grower Champagne means that the winery grows all the grapes themselves as well as owns all the grapes. Everything has to be estate grown and produced. On the other hand, branded producers are sourcing grapes from a bunch of large production vineyards, which is why they are able to produce such high volumes of wine. That takes away from the care it takes to produce amazing wine.
The second major difference between the two styles is quantity produced. Grower Champagne is a much more hands on approach to winemaking, and there is much more time and effort put into every bottle. With that in mind, someone making Grower Champagne is producing an extremely small amount compared to the bigger names. A small producer may produce 36,000 bottles every year, while someone like Moet produces 28,000,000 bottles every year.
The last, and maybe the most important, difference between the two is taste. The larger Champagne houses have the sources to buy a ton of grapes and produce a wine that tastes the same every year. One of the reasons why it is so easy to pick up a bottle of Veuve is that you know that it will taste the same every year. With Grower Champagne, the single vineyards that these wines are produced from may have a good year or a bad year, which can lead to different flavors and aromas in the wines. Many times, these Champagnes will taste completely different from year to year. However, this isn’t a bad thing - it just means that the winery is willing to express the vineyard differently from vintage to vintage, while others depend on consistency across the board.
One of the best parts of Grower Champagne is that a lot of times you can find wines at the same price as the larger companies that really blow them out of the water. Some can be more and some can be less, but most of the time, they really over deliver for the price. Some names to look for when shopping this holiday season are Savart, Chartogne-Taillet, Aubry, and Andre Clouet. All are small producers of Champagnes that you should try to snag before you grab another yellow box!
Happy New Year!
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