Grower Champagne: My Flutes are a Bust for These Bubbles
Friends, I believe Champagne is always a good idea. Why wait for a special occasion when you can make every occasion special? You simply cannot be in a bad mood sipping Champagne. Dry with a very fine sparkle is my favorite and I still find myself reminiscing about a 2008 Dom Perignon that I absolutely loved a few years back. Perhaps my preference has something to do with enjoying multiple glasses of it on a 16+ hour flight in first class on Emirates…?
Anyway, sigh, I love bubbles.
So, when a dear friend recently told me about grower Champagne my ears and flute immediately lifted. While Champagne houses cull grapes from multiple growers to create large quantities of their notable signature blends, grower Champagne is both farmed and crafted in small batches by the same grower. This distinction of the entire process taking place at the same farm makes these vintages very specific to their singular soil and environment – the terroir – creating an interesting and unexpected taste profile. Plus, the more significantly sustainably, biodynamically, or organically grown grapes are carefully cultivated with a multi-generational passion and deep knowledge of winemaking and the land. The fantastically exclusive (and sometimes elusive!) results transport the imbiber to a definitive place and time with bubbly that is remarkably layered, wonderfully fresh and super unique.
There’s even a difference in how to enjoy these special grower Champagnes. Whereas a flute is typically the go-to glassware of bubbles, the varied flavors and complex aromas of grower Champagnes blossom more expressively when poured into a wine glass. Greater exposure to air with a larger bowl creates a more robust oxidation process for these nuanced wines, allowing the fine, artisanal bubbles to burst freely and enhance the magical experience of smell and taste. I’ll toast to that!
Now my search is definitely on for bottles of grower Champagne as it is not easy to find due to the small production and limited quantity exported to the U.S. I was planning on a week in Champagne during my next trip to France to visit several of the well-known houses but now I’m also excited to explore independent vineyards in the region as well. Who knows, perhaps I can pop open a special souvenir to savor on the flight home. I’d love to have some new bubbles to reminisce about!