The smallest text with information to pay attention to on a Champagne label is often the most important. Let’s assume you’re happy that it’s actually a bottle of Champagne and you’ve probably noticed the producer or brand. Usually the producer is the same as the brand.
But Dom Perignon (made by Moët & Chandon) and a plethora of blingbling Champagnes such as Armand de Brignac (made by Cattier) or the rather unknown newcomer Guldkula, made for a Swedish finance banker, cares hardly about details. But marked on the bottom edge of the label are two important letters that give you clues. You will find two uppercase letters at the bottom edge of the label, followed by a few digits. The numbers are a registration number and unimportant for You. But the letters says a lot about the type of Champagne you have in front of you.
What does Grand Marque mean?
For me to pinpoint what a Grande Marque is You need to now about the structure of the Champagne industry. The Champagne houses use to be organized into a group, Syndicat des Grandes Marques, which had 28 Members, not all of them of equal quality. That has now been replaced by a Club des Grandes Marques with 24 members.
It is within the négociant-manipulant category that the poorly defined group of houses widely regarded as Grandes Marques can be found. As such today the term Grandes Marques has no certain definition, except perhaps in the minds of those who continue to use it, and I suspect that definition differs – between individuals.
And which Champagne houses are Grande Marque?
The houses use to be organized into ’Syndicat des Grandes Marques’, which had 28 Members, not all of them of equal quality. That has now been replaced by a ’Club des Grandes Marques’ with 24 members;
o Deutz & Geldermann
o Dom Perignon
o Heidsieck & Co. Monopole
o Henriot o Krug
o Lanson Père et Fils
o Moët et Chandon
o G. H. Mumm
o Joseph Pérrier
o Piper Heidsieck (including Charles Heidsieck)
o Pol Roger
o Pommery & Greno
o Ch. & A Prieur (including Champagne Napoleon & Paul Goerg)
o Louis Roederer
o Salon (including Delamotte)
o Veuve Clicquot