For those lovers of Champagne that are still very much focused on the big brands then may I give you an ever so polite nudge so to push you to also investigate some of the lesser known labels and those smaller family producers which are generally referred to as ‘Grower Champagnes’.
I remember taking notes when I was with the CIVC on an invited tour of Epernay in the Champagne region only a couple of years back, my scribbling on pages showed that there are over 15,000 growers in and over 300 Champagne villages and these growers hold a mighty 90% of the vineyards in this famous wine region. So growers are what makes the industry turn, I would have the opinion of, thus one really should explore ‘Grower Champagne labels’.
Where to start will be the question. The Champagne region holds a lifetime of explorations from its wines to the foods, tourism, people, history and more. There are famous authors including the honorary judge of the Glass of Bubbly Awards, Michael Edwards, who has written some very factual publications – Though sometimes the best way to get a feel for things is to meet the wines in person, ie some tasting!
A recent visit to London included an invitation to pop in to and review the venue Champagne Route located in Wapping, London.
A Champagne bar for fizz lovers, a place to discover the yet to be discovered, where you can engross yourself in all the splendid flavours and aromas that this wonderful sparkling wine region offers the globe – A growing list of wines by the bottle or by glass, from rosé to vintage, organics to Zero Dosage and of course Blanc de Blancs to 100% Pinot Noir.
London, of course, offers you a wealth of places to enjoy a glass of bubbly, but with the Champagne Route bar and restaurant, you have a place that concentrates purely on French sparkling wines (Cremant is present also) and focuses on educating and entertain guests to a whole new world of undiscovered Champagne labels. If you have loved for many years, and indeed by not, the likes of Veuve Clicquot, Moët & Chandon, Dom Perignon, Tattinger, Lanson and more then you are in for a surprise when you discover grower Champagne!
Guidance is generally needed when exploring outside your comfort zone when buying and drinking wines and the team at the Champagne Route will be able to run you through some amazing fizz at I must say amazing prices to build your understanding of the depth of Champagne labels and their diversity.
If food and Champagne pairing intrigues you then you are also at the right place with a pairing menu to include favourites such as oysters and cheese to duck breast and guinea fowl.