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Grower Champagnes

What is a Grower Champagne? A Grower or Artisan Champagne are sparkling wine made in the Champagne province of France where the grapes are grown, harvested, and produced by the very same owners of the vineyards and are known as Récoltant Manipulant or RM. They grow their own grapes to make their own wines.

The grapes are sourced from their own vineyards, as opposed to sourcing from several vineyards that larger champagne houses may do.

Grower Champagnes tend to be more 'terroir-focused' and are generally sourced from a single vineyard or closely located vineyards around a village. They are often described as 'artisanal winemakers.'

They tend to produce a different, terroir-focused style wine each year, with generally a lower dosage. Increasing numbers of growers are aging their wines for up to 3 years or more, allowing the wines to fully express themselves before release.

There are clear definitions that we can refer to which help enable us to categorise a winemaker as a grower. The letters RM for Récoltant Manipulant define a Champagne as a Grower Champagne and are listed on the label of the bottle. An example of a Grower is Pierre Gimonnet & Fils.

Many Growers who do not go on to produce Champagne often sell some of their grapes to the Negociant-Manipulants, the larger Champagne Houses such as Moet & Chandon.

What does CM or Coopérative-Manipulant stand for? This is a collection of smaller landowners in Champagne who collaborate in order to supply enough volume of grapes to produce a wine, a cooperative. An example of a CM or Coopérative-Manipulant is Champagne Le Mesnil. Sometimes they are grouped in the 'Grower Category' as they own land and use the grapes from their own land however by clear definition they are not.

MN Négociant-Manipulant is the definition given to the main Champagne producers who both grow on their own land and buy in due to the large volumes of Champagne they need to supply. Large houses or Grand Marques are those such as Veuve Clicquot or Bollinger and smaller houses such as Marie Demets.

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