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Dec 30, 2017

Of the 20,000 growers in Champagne, only a few make their own wine. In this podcast, fifth generation grower-producer Gaylord Legras of Champagne Legras-Frapart et Fils gives us the lowdown on how the vineyards operate, what's unique about grower Champagne, and how the business of Champagne really works.

 

Here are the show notes. We discuss:

  • Gaylord's family history in Champagne and how they got into the growing business.
  • Climate, terrain, soils, and unique advantages that the region has in growing grapes for sparkling wine.
  • The different sub regions-- Montagne de Reims, Côtes des Blancs, Valle de la Marne, Aube.
  • The importance of vintage Champagne and whether these more expensive bottles are worth the money.
  • How grower wines differ from those of large houses (like Moët Chandon, which controls the 5 major wine brands in the area and more than 50% of wine made).
  • The business structure of Champagne and its challenges and opportunities -- contracts with the big houses and how they are structured, the difference between the Houses and cooperatives, and more of the business challenges of growers in the region.
  • Finally, we talk about how to find grower Champagnes by looking for RM (Recoltant Manipulant) on the bottle.

 

Champagne Legras-Frapart et Fils isn't available outside of France (unless you want to import it!) but you can see Gaylord and others if you head to Oiry, where his vineyards are located!

 

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Other Champagne podcasts I mentioned...

Ep 167: Champagne -- The Region

 

Ep 148: Conversation with Champagne Laurent-Perrier President Michelle DeFeo 

 

Ep 066: Sparkling Wine Options 

 

Ep 026 Sparkling Wine - More Than Just Champagne