<Arts Talk>The Way to Choose Champagne (2)

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Let’s continue to introduce how to choose champagne.

Ageing Time

Non-vintage Champagne: Aged for at least 15 months. Non-vintage (NV) champagnes exist to allow producers to make a consistent style of champagne from year to year, and most non-vintage champagnes are more fruity and less bready than vintage champagnes.

Vintage Champagne: Aged for at least 3 years. In particularly years with good harvest, producers produce single-vintage champagne. In this ageing category, most people opt for creamy and yeasty styles.

District Classification

Premier Cru, Grands Cru, Other Plantations

There are hundreds of chateau farmhouses in the Champagne region, but only 42 chateaux have premier Cru and only 17 have grands crus. The Premier Cru and Grands Crus indicate that the vineyards have demonstrated the ability to produce excellent Champagne winemaking. Of course, some plantations are not classified in this hierarchy, and they are also worthy of people's attention.

Producer Classification

Famous Brand Trader Champagne

Maisons is a large scale Champagne house and they source grapes from all over the Champagne region. The following are labelling terms often associated with Maisons and other large producers: NM "Négociant Manipulant" refers to producers who buy all or part of their grapes from other growers, and any estate below 94% must be labelled as NM. 

MA "Marque d'acheteur" refers to a large retailer or restaurant that buys finished wine and sells it under its own label. 

The ND "Négociant Distributeur" labels and distributes champagnes that are neither grown nor produced.


CM "Coopérative Manipulant" is a cooperative of growers that pools resources and produces wine under one brand. Cooperatives are located in specific villages in the Champagne region and produce cuvées with multiple growers in the same region. 

Independent Farm Champagne

Vignerons are single families or individuals who grow grapes and make wine in a specific area. 

RM "Récoltant Manipulant" refers to the champagne of independent farms, using more than 95% orchard fruit. 

SR "Société de Récoltants" is an alliance of growers who share resources and market their own brands. 

RC "Récoltant Coopérateur" refers to a grower-producer with its own champagne brand in a cooperative.


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