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At Sally Hillman we consider there are two broad categories of champagne. One is produced on a large scale by the well known Grandes Marques. The other category consists of the Grower champagnes. These wines are as individualistic as their fiercely independent and passionate producers, and each is an embodiment of its terroir. A sip of one of these champagnes will transport you to the sunny hillside or chalky plain where its creation began.
The big champagne Houses (or Grandes Marques) create their product with grapes from a wide variety of suppliers which are blended to a precise and consistent formula. These wines are reliably uniform from year to year, but the expression of their terroir is not as evident as it is in the Grower champagnes which are produced using only the grower’s own grapes – often coming from a single vineyard.
As consumer awareness and appreciation of the Grower movement and its commitment to organic, sustainable production has increased, the demand for the champagne of these smaller, artisanal producers frequently outstrips supply.
The Grower movement reflects the ideals of the vignerons, so you will never see them for sale in bulk at supermarkets.
Sally Hillman specialises in the Grower champagnes with the aim of introducing Australian connoisseurs to these diverse and complex wines which bring a whole new level of enjoyment to champagne drinking. They are full of character and wherever possible avoid pesticides and other chemicals, resulting in a fresh, natural beverage that brings elegance to any occasion.
If it’s a good year, there may be plenty of bottles available, if not, we may have to impose quotas on purchases of some products.