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Championing Grower Champagnes

Published:  10 July, 2017

The Good Wine Shop’s second annual Grower Champagne Month this June saw a swathe events dedicated to celebrating these artisanal scale wines. Co-founder Derek Morrison explains why they do it, what it’s all about and how he is looking to grow this initiative for next year.

The aim of Grower Champagne Month was to champion the most exciting artisanal Champagne producers and present them in the marketplace through a fantastic program of events to help them get more deserved recognition and exposure. These impressive wines are not so new to us in the trade or press, but for the average consumer most are practically unknown. Ultimately these are unique wines with personality made by real people with great stories to tell, but these producers rarely have the marketing budget or free time to promote themselves extensively.

We try to avoid getting into a misleading ‘House vs Grower’ debate as both are critical weaves in the fabric of Champagne. Many ‘Growers’ still sell some of their grapes to the Grand Marques, or are directly employed by other estates, which funds the production of their own wines. To separate the groups so divisively is unfair to both, and misses the bigger point, which is that we can celebrate a group without needing to detract from others.

Both Grand Marques and ‘Growers’ are capable and proven at crafting exceptional wines, and conversely both are guilty of releasing ordinary or unimpressive bottlings. We don’t look to perpetuate a false divide, merely to celebrate the inspiring efforts of many people crafting some of the world’s most exciting wines available today.  Veuve Clicquot and Ruinart are recognizable to almost anyone, and there is no reason that Pierre Peters, Eric Rodez, or Ulysse Collin shouldn’t deserve a similar place in any wine lover’s lexicon.

In some ways, it’s like comparing a rock concert at Wembley Stadium to your favourite local venue for up and coming musicians. We’ve been known to sing along with the hits on the radio, but in June we prefer to hum the tunes of the next Leonard Cohen, David Bowie, or John Lennon of the Champagne world. 

We love Champagne, and we love sharing the stories of this amazing network of growers. There is no real united voice to champion this group in the UK, so we thought there was an opportunity to create a platform for all businesses in London to promote these deserving wines in a unified way.

We wanted to make this rewarding for other businesses to get involved.  The bigger and more successful we can make this campaign, the easier it will be to attract growers to visit from France next year and subsequent years.

Bigger and better events with more winemakers seems like a recipe for everyone to win, especially thirsty consumers after some great value Champagnes. We realize June can be a critical time of year in the vineyard for growers, but felt that commercially it is the best time of year to host these events as consumer demand for fizz begins its crescendo into summer.

We created a new website for the campaign,, as well as the official hashtag #DrinkGrowerChampagne to link all social media activity. Any Instagram content using #DrinkGrowerChampagne automatically feeds into the main page of the website, so customers and other businesses have been using the hashtag to show off wines as they enjoy them. So far there are hundreds of posts from Champagne lovers all over the world.

The website exists as a central hub for the campaign to advertise events and link to partners, supporters, and champagne grower profiles, and will remain active throughout the year as plans for 2018 will soon commence.  All other businesses are welcomed and encouraged to submit their own events or promotions to list on the website for free, as the site is a tool to be utilized by anyone looking to share the enthusiasm for these wines.

More information on the campaign, events, partners, and ways to get involved are available online at:

Thanks again to all who participated this year, and we hope many more merchants and restaurants will get involved next year.

About The Good Wine Shop

The Good Wine Shop is an award winning independent wine merchant and current Independent Champagne Retailer of the Year 2017. It has two shops in Kew and Chiswick in West London and sells wine and spirits through its website: