Recently, Ideal Wine Company revealed how to read a Champagne label. Within this article, we pointed out that on the label you will see a two letter code, which refers to the type of Champagne producer that made the product. Delving deeper into this subject, here we outline the seven different types of Champagne producer you may encounter when consuming this luxury tipple.
Récoltant Coopérateur (RC)
Referred to on bottles with ‘RC,’ this code means that the grower-producer behind the Champagne in question made the product at a Co-Op facility, but sells it under their own label. Co-Ops are villages in the Champagne region of France which provide growers with the necessary sparkling wine making equipment, if they don’t have these tools to hand in order to produce their vintage.
Négociant Distributeur (ND)
These Champagnes, noted on bottles with the code ‘ND,’ refer to a buyer. In these cases, some other party grows the grapes and makes the final product. Afterwards the buyer purchases the product and labels it, before distributing the vintage to the general public.
Marque d’Acheteur (MA)
Otherwise known as “buyer’s own brand,” Marque d’Acheteur is shortened to ‘MA’ on Champagne labels. This code refers to a large retail chain or restaurant that buys a fully made Champagne from another producer. However, they sell the product under their own label.
Société de Récoltants (SR)
The term Société de Récoltants is used to describe a union of Champagne growers. Here, the union shares resources to make their products, but they are not a Co-Operative. The growers within this association sell their products, with the marker ‘SR’ on bottles, under their own private labels.
Récoltant Manipulant (RM)
If you see the code ‘RM’ on a Champagne label, the product in question is a Récoltant Manipulant. Otherwise known as ‘grower Champagne’ this code refers to growers who make Champagne from their own grapes. Typically, at least 95% of an RM’s grapes will come from the grower’s estate.
Coopérative Manipulant (CM)
In many ways, a Coopérative Manipulant shares similarities with a Récoltant Manipulant and a Récoltant Coopérateur. These Champagnes, marked out with the code ‘CM’ on labels, are made by Co-Operatives comprised of growers, with all the grapes they produce pulled together to make bottles released under a joint CM label.
Négociant Manipulant (NM)
The majority of major brands, such as those behind many of our Champagnes, are Négociant Manipulant producers. Referred to as ‘NM’ Champagnes, these describe producers who buy all or some of their grapes from other growers. Anything less than 94% estate fruit must be labelled an NM.
Try out your knowledge
If you know the type of producer behind your Champagne, you can find out more about how the final product was made and marketed, allowing you to cultivate a deeper understanding of your purchase. Now you know how to interpret Champagne producer codes, why don’t you put your new knowledge to the test? Buy the Salon 1999 from Ideal Wine Company and use the label to find out which kind of producer was behind this brilliant bottle of Champagne!