Grower Champagne is not only interesting for what’s in the bottle, but for the way it challenges the idea of terroir for this famous wine region. It seems that a small group of RM (Récoltant-Manipulant ) Champagne producers have gained a strong following in Australia, even though in their home country they are not that well known. I will not forget the first time I tasted the Champagnes of Chartogne-Taillet, Vouette & Sorbee, Larmandier-Bernier, Laherte-Freres, Egly-Ouriet and Bereche et Fils. I was at a Champagne tasting where RM Champagnes were lined up alongside much more famous labels, and I was astounded by what I can only describe as their authentic character. These wines challenged my palate unlike the other Champagnes. Instead of a house style, these wines seemed more like Burgundy wines in expressing a vineyard or villages terroir, there was a precision to the character of the wine, and maybe that was it, they seemed more like wines from Champagne, rather than a Champagne that assumed its bubbles automatically made it special. However, as a fan of these small producers’ wines I have found that anytime I talk with passion about RM Champagnes it can create friction, suddenly the conversation becomes a conflict of the mainstream versus the alternative, the status quo versus the new philosophers, and it is a reactionary dichotomy that I haven’t witnessed for any other winemaking region or style.