Does sparkling wine always appeal to you? Do you feel no occasion will be completed without the sophistication of the golden glitz of sparkling wine? Then champagne must be on the top of your list. And slowly, the grower champagne is trending the market with all its uniqueness and elegance. Champagne is a French drink that is restricted to be produced within a certain region of France and the climate, needed for that, can only be found there. But, what is grower champagne? It is also popular in the name of ‘Farmer Fizz.’ To make champagne, special types of grapes are grown. So, what is the difference between champagne and grower champagne? To understand more about the farmer fizz, you need to know the procedure for making it. The process includes soil type, a variety of grapes, fermentation procedure and lots of other detailing which are different from the usual champagne making method.
What Is Grower Champagne?
As it is champagne, it is clear that you are getting sparkling wine while ordering grower at any bar. But, why the term ‘grower’ is associated with it? Actually, grower champagne is the sparkling wine that is prepared by the grape growers and their families. The name, ‘Farmer Fizz’ also has the same explanation as it is made by grape farmers. They grow grapes in their own vineyards and make Cuvee. The uniqueness of grower champagne is that each grape grower comes with the unique style that emphasis on the distinct nature of the particular vineyard.
Why is grower champagne unique than usual champagne? You will like to get an example to get an idea on this. Do you like fresh farm eggs from your poultry or vegetables from your kitchen garden? Yes, you find the uniqueness in taste in that objects. Grower champagne never tastes equal every year as the producer becomes different. So, this is the most compelling part that is making grower champagne so very unique and appealing.
Taste of Grower Champagne
It is very difficult to define the taste of grower champagne. Champagne tastes refreshing and dry and depending on the dosage (addition of sugar), the taste varies from brut to doux. But, when talking about grower champagne, you can’t categorize it into certain boundaries. Why so? Actually, grower champagne is handcrafted by the grape growers and his family members. Each year, the producer may change, and that brings changes to the wine. The maker makes it based on the taste he likes. Besides, anything handmade can’t be of same taste each time. This is the exclusive feature that makes grower champagne so incredible to the wine lovers.
Types of Champagne Producer
To know more about the procedure of grower champagne, you should have ideas of 3 types of champagne making procedure in France
These are also known as ‘Houses.’ This is the most popular champagne making and importing procedure. Champagne, made in this process, is imported to the USA up to 87%. Here, the champagne producers buy grapes from grape growers from various regions. In the Maisons, grapes from all over the regions and the vintage ones are blended in particular style to maintain the taste always.
How to know which brands are Maisons? Large champagne brands are mainly Maisons, and those are available around the world and enjoyed at every fancy occasion. Brands like Moet, Perrier, Bollinger, Veuve Clicquot, etc. are certain enormous brands of Maisons Champagne. Occasions like Oscar after party will be incomplete without Maisons de Champagne.
In this method, cooperatives are formed in specific villages of Champagne region and the grapes are taken from the farms around the village. Grape growers, who don’t have all equipment to prepare champagne, may join these cooperatives. These cooperatives function in various ways, but the most common process is that the grape growers supply grapes to the co ops and the winemakers prepare the finest wine of the country. Growers can label the prepared champagne bottles under the name of cooperatives.
To know which champagnes are produced in this method, you may see ‘CM’ or Cooperative Manipulant mark on the front label or printed small at the bottom.
They are the genuine producers of grower champagne. The word ‘Vignerons’ means grape growers. To be more specific, this term is used for those who grow grapes, particularly for wine making. Within the Champagne region, growers own small vineyards, and them vine throughout the year and also harvest the grapes by their own. As these sparkling wines are handcrafted and made with specific types of grapes and different producers every year, the taste always differs from the previous year.
The best way to recognize the growers champagne is to check the label and if you find the hyphenated names. Growers use their last name with a hyphenated maiden name that belongs to the mother or spouse’s name. Grower champagne is not only a mere product; it is also a tribute to the land and also talks about the heritage of that space.
5 Basic Types of Champagne
Whether it is Maison Champagne or growers champagne; there are certain basic styles that are common, yet distinct on the basis of flavor, taste, and aroma. Here are those styles that make you go crazy about champagne, even of grower champagne
- Brut Nature Champagne
This is the driest champagne with a refreshing undertone along with a floral and citrus note that makes it little acidic. The acidic nature makes it taste a little acrimonious, and you should never taste it right after brushing your teeth, especially when it is grower champagne as the taste is a bit raw.
- Blanc de Blancs
The grape variety, used here to make this champagne is chardonnay. The citrus aroma with the white flower of chardonnay makes it awesome. Depending on the area of the vineyard, this champagne may taste bit minerality or chalky. This variety of grower champagne must be kept for aging so that you can get the refreshed aroma of baked bread, nuts, and butter.
- Blanc de Noirs
This specific variety of grower champagne is mainly produced from the specific grape variant, Pinot Noir. Experts suggest having it young to taste the acidic nature at its best. With the rich aroma of white raspberry and apple, this champagne offers you an undertone of parmesan cheese. You can imagine how extraordinary it will taste. As grower champagne, the taste and aroma may sometimes vary to give you an adorable experience.
- Rose Champagne
To enjoy exotic taste and aroma of champagne, you should taste sparkling rose champagne for a change. Whether it is a gala dinner or a self celebration of some success story, a glass of rose champagne can give you the best boost up to enjoy your life. The color of this champagne always varies; some are deep red while others are orange. In the taste, you will find exclusiveness as certain varieties are dry and give you a tart like taste while some will give you the flavors of ripe and red berries. If you are tasting grower rose champagne, you won’t get the same flavor in each bottle. The taste and flavors vary from where it belongs and also according to the sweetness level of the champagne.
- Vintage Champagne
A crazy and dedicated wine lover won’t afraid of paying for a bottle of authentic vintage champagne. When producers go on aging it for several years, you get the vintage champagne. Grower champagne gets the disgorgement date on the label which shows when the bottles were kept in the cellar. This will help you to know when the wine was produced and kept for aging.
The most popular flavors of vintage champagne are marzipan, hazelnut, honeycomb, etc. along with lemon curd, baked apple, and white cherry. It is the variety of tastes and the critical making procedure that makes vintage champagne so pricey. Usually, vintage champagne must be kept for aging almost for 3 years. The more they are kept for aging, the more nutty and creamy it will be. If you want more nuttiness in the champagne, you should look for much older champagne.
Why Champagne Is Different and Special than Other Sparkling Wine
Before beginning it, you should know that Champagne is one of the provinces of France where this sparkling wine is made, and the government is not ready to let others use the term or the making procedure. Besides, the climate and atmosphere, needed for growing specific types of grapes to make authentic champagne, are only available in this territory. So, champagne is unique for its name, class, color, taste and flavor.
There are several other sparkling wines around the Europe which are gaining immense popularity and can be produced at any part of the world with similar kind of soil and climate for grapes or importing those to produce wine. If you want sparkling wine in Spain, you will be welcome with Cava; in Italy, you can taste Prosecco; in other regions of France, Cremants wait for you, and in Germany, You will get Sekt. All these are types of famous sparkling wine which are ruling the hearts. But, when you pronounce ‘Champagne’ that not only talks about a mere drink; that talks about a region, about the efforts of the grape growers; their dedication to making grower champagne that gives you the taste of the land, no matter how far you are from that place.
Why is champagne different from other sparkling wine? It is because of the terroir. This means the place where it belongs. The cool temperature of the region is appropriate for growing champagne as the grapes get enough time for ripening. This slow method helps in concentrating more flavors into the grapes while continuing the freshness. The aroma of the grower champagne also comes from the soil of the terrain, and that’s why you get the chalky smell in it.
Uniqueness of Grower Champagne
The main basic difference between champagne and grower champagne has become clear to you from so far discussion. The grower champagne belongs from the countryside and it is much more personal that carries the taste and heritage of that family. Besides that, there are certain things which make grower champagne the real ‘farmer fizz.’
- Unique Blending Though the grapes, used here are grown by the owners of vineyards, mainly there are blends of two major varieties of grapes. Grower champagne, made from Pinot noir and Chardonnay, tastes the best.
- Aroma There will be options more than you think. And each option will make you go crazy about it. How about getting the smell of freshly baked bread in a bakery or the vanilla cream patisserie? You can also get flavors like maple syrup, baked apple tarts or peach tarts, toasted caramel and much Are you still waiting?
- Taste It will leave a unique taste on your palette. Along with a vibrant freshness, you may experience the acidic taste of lemon and the crunchy feeling of apple. The combination is really jazzy and countryside.
Actually, there are several farmers who have been in this business for long. Many of them may not produce for large commercial use, but, if you want to experiment real France at its villages and countryside, you should taste the grower champagne. It is true that this farmer fizz won’t replace Maisons Champagne at this very moment as those are for class. But, that day is not far away when grower champagne will be designated as one of the rustic drink that can make you remember of your hometown.
At present, the number of exporting grower champagne is not much. But it can be expected that soon people will love to taste the versatility of the grower champagne. After all, you don’t get a chance to open the bottle of the same brand with different taste, aroma, and finesse. If you ever visit France, you can experience the rustic life with authentic and unique French food and obviously, with grower champagne.