Vendange en Champagne

Champagne winegrowers

They are constantly shaping the Champagne vineyards

Grapes

Lovingly tended grape clusters 

For centuries, Champagne Growers have been shaping the vineyards to harness the very best of their terroir. Growers spend season after season out among their vines, tending to them and pampering them so that they produce the finest grapes, all while showing unwavering concern for the environment. 

Growers are wholeheartedly committed to their job. Their work goes far beyond the husbandry and maintenance tasks required in the Champagne vineyard. The Champagne terroir is a patchwork of myriad plots, with no two plots alike. Growers watch attentively over them to perceive and grasp their specific characteristics over time, and so adapt to each of them to be able to bring out the defining hallmarks of each to the full.  Patience, attentiveness and understanding the terroir are the Growers’ guiding values.

Their know-how is shared by working in close interaction with this, at times fickle, terroir. This passion and excellence are passed down to the next family generation with consideration and pride – and an innovative streak too. For such technical innovations have enhanced and are continuing to enhance the quality of Champagne wines and their global reach. 

Today, nearly 90% of the Champagne area under vine is owned and tended by Growers, whose numbers have grown to more than 16,000. No matter the size of their own vineyard – from the smallest to the largest – their devotion to them is just the same. 
 

coccinelle dans vigne

Champagne Culture

Champagne Houses and Growers are committed to sustainability practices!

Champagne is the first wine-growing area in the world to have assessed its carbon footprint. Sustainable development is hard-wired into the practices of Champagne makers, who are all united in their commitment to achieve continued progress. Today, more than half the area under vine has secured environmental certification. The target is to achieve 100% by 2030! 

A multi-faceted wine region

Until the mid 20th century, almost all Champagne Growers produced grapes which they then sold to the Champagne Houses. The latter then made and marketed the wine. 

From the 1950s, the practice known as "manipulation" in French began to develop. This is when Growers join Cooperatives which then press and store their grape yields. There are more than a hundred Cooperatives across the Champagne wine-growing area which provide pressing and wine-making services. Some also sell their own Champagne under the label of the Cooperative.

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Vendanges en Champagne avec village

Other Champagne Growers make and market own-label Champagne. In this case, they are called Récoltants manipulants.

However, most of the grapes harvested from Champagne Growers are still sold to the Champagne Houses.

Vignes rognées

Champagne Culture

What is a Récoltant-Manipulant?

To find out if a Champagne is a grower’s own-label (made by them), simply look at the label: if it indicates "RM" (which stands for Récoltant-Manipulant), then this means that the grower makes and markets own-label Champagne from grapes exclusively sourced from their own vineyards.

SGV

The Champagne Syndicat Général des Vignerons

The Champagne Syndicat Général des Vignerons (SGV) is the trade union which defends the interests of Champagne Growers. Established in 1904, it represents more than 99% of Growers in Champagne.

It has a wide-ranging remit, which includes: defending and protecting the interests of the Champagne production area, as well as lending Growers administrative, financial and legal support with the day-to-day running of their vineyards.

A unique relationship between Houses and Growers

The industry’s organisation between the Growers, who produce the grapes, and the Houses, who make and market two-thirds of the wine, is a feature specific to Champagne.

Together with the Union des Maisons de Champagne, the Syndicat Général des Vignerons is one of the two families represented within the Comité Champagne. The Comité Champagne provides a common venue for holding discussions, sharing, cooperating and compromising to ensure a healthy balance for the future of this special terroir. Find out more:

 The Comité Champagne