‘My only regret in life is that I didn’t drink enough Champagne,‘ wrote John Maynard Keynes. Don’t have regrets, join our new Champagne club!
Our obsession with Champagne has led us to explore the exciting category of grower Champagnes. While the big houses offer incredible consistency and luxurious Grandes Marques cuvées, there are many small labels that offer superb value and contrasting styles.
Around 19,000 independent growers in Champagne’s 35,000 ha sell most of their crop to the larger houses. Grower Champagne houses vinify only their own vineyards however and are, therefore, much smaller and operate more like typical French wineries. We recently tasted through copious grower Champagnes and have put together 6 delicious, terroir-driven cuvées from all across the region that offer great value.
The Baudry is 100% Pinot Noir from the far south, the Copinet Marie is dry and steely and the Dehours is Meunier-based with a 1988 solera component. ‘This is what grower’s champagne is all about,’ writes Jancis Robinson on the Dehours. The Gosset-Brabantshows the Pinot expression of Montagne de Reims while the J.L. Vergnon is 100% Chardonnay made in an Extra-Brut style. Our favourite is the Hugues Godmé, a biodynamic Premier Cru that offers the finesse and poise of a fine Burgundy.
Become a Wine Cellar Insider and join our new Champagne club. Receive a complimentary bottle of the 94-point Drappier Grande Sendrée from the incredible 2008 vintage, worth R1,350, when you sign up for 1 year.
How it works: Subscribe for 12 months and pay R3,000 every second month, or purchase the case once-off and give it a try before subscribing. Every 2 months, you’ll receive a mixed case of 3 – 6 bottles, including exclusive cuvées and great deals. Each case will focus on a different theme and includes free delivery anywhere in SA. Read the details here.