Small Sips

Toasting in the new year with Champagne has become a tradition around the globe, and that makes for heady times for producers of the famous French bubbly, who do most of their annual business in the last few weeks of December.[an error occurred while processing this directive] Big houses such as Moët & Chandon, Bollinger, Piper-Heidsieck and G.H. Mumm account for the majority of exports. They buy Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes from the region's growers and assemble their Champagnes to ensure consistency from year to year.

But the last few years have also seen the rise of smaller-scale producers,...

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