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Champagne Brands

Ask Joe Bloggs in the street to quickly name 10 Champagne brands and assuming he/she didn’t walk quickly in the opposite direction giving you a funny look, they would undoubtably name 10 of the ‘Grande Marques’ literal translation ‘Big Brands’. There are however around 12000 Champagne brands and this section of the site is devoted to provide information on as many of them as possible. We include their history and the styles of Champagne they produce in the hope that we give sufficient guidance so you can decide whether or not YOU may like a yet untried brand.

The historic Syndicat de Grande Marques, replaced with Club des Grande Marques, has now been absorbed into the Union de Maisons de Champagnes, but Grande Marques still remains a handy term to describe the big Champagne Producers that have dominated the industry for many years. The biggest of these is Moet et Chandon accounting for almost a quarter of export sales. Moet is owned by Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH – the powerful luxury goods conglomerate). LVMH also own Pommery, Veuve Cliquot and the prestigious Dom Perignon. These four champagnes alone account for 50% of the export market.

The well known and influential Champagne Houses (detailed below under Grand Marques) account for 80% of the total sales of Champagne and yet only own 20% of the vineyards. They purchase very large quantities of fruit throughout the Champagne region from Champagne growers.

The Grande Marques

Click on the Champagne Brand name for the history of the Champagne House and the Champagnes they produce.

Pol Roger

Pommery

CH & A Prieur

Louis Roederer

Ruinart

A Salon

Taittinger

Veuve Clicquot

 

Out of the 19000 independent growers in Champagne, 5000 produce Champagne from their own grapes. Although grower Champagnes have always been available it has recently undergone a surge in popularity not least of all because they have started to export and of course they are substantially cheaper. Grower Champagnes are terrior focused (the name for the characteristics given to the wine by its geology, geography and climate) and this is both their charm and their difficulty. They can be more individual, expressive and dynamic than the main brands and they have voted as better than some by wine experts. However, unlike the large Champagne houses who produce a consistent house style year after year, grower Champagnes using only their own grapes do have variable quality. They also tend to be released younger as they do not have the financial resources needed for long-term ageing and storage. The leading Grower Champagnes can be found below.

The Top Grower Champagnes

Paul Bara

Roger Brun

Gaston

Chiquet

Dumangin

Egly-Ouriet

Fleury

Gatinois

Pierre Gimonnet

Benoit Lahaye

Larmandier-Bernier

Lassalle

Serge Mathieu

Pierre Moncuit

Pierre Peters