Ever wondered where the experts stand on the best wine practices and controversies? In this series, wine blogger, teacher and author Tyler Colman (a. k. a. Dr. Vino) delivers a final judgement.
Don't you think the growth in "grower" Champagnes is a good thing? For centuries, Champagne has been dominated by the great houses, a term for producers that buy grapes from the region's 10,000 small farmers. These big producers are master blenders—seeking and achieving consistency in nonvintage wines—as well as master marketers. But a small, influential trend is for the individual growers to bottle their own wines, which are often referred to as "grower Champagnes" or (by sommeliers) "farmer fizz." Because they're from a single vineyard rather than blended from hundreds of different ones, the wines tend to be more reflective of where they were grown.