Champagne: Join the Club

This comes from The Greene Grape wineshop’s latest newsletter, and is great information for those of you on the hunt for a great champagne for toasting in the New Year:

So maybe you know that sparkling wine can only be called Champagne if it is from the Champagne region in France and if it undergoes a secondary fermentation in the bottle. But do you know what ‘club’ champagne is? Club Champagne is a subset of grower champagne, so stick with us for a small digression.

In Champagne growers grow grapes – pinot noir, pinot meunier and chardonnay to be specific. Some growers sell their grapes to larger champagne houses (these are the brands you see everywhere and they’re called negociant champagnes). But some growers keep their best grapes and make their own champagne – thus the term ‘grower champagne.’

Club champagne is a grower champagne crafted to best represent the particular domaine where it is created. In order to be designated a Special Club champagne and be bottled in the signature bottle, the champagne must undergo peer review by other champagne producers including two blind tastings. So now you know more than enough to bridge any lull in the conversation on New Year’s Eve.

Our friend Lenn Thompson of has created a New York Cork Club with Greene Grape, so you can have the best of New York State wines sent you each month.

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