This small grower and member of Champagne’s elite Special Club is located in the Grand Cru Village of Chouilly. The house was founded in 1929 by André Champion, who created his vineyard in the famous Cote des Blancs area of Chouilly, some of the best soils for the Chardonnay grape. Andre’s untimely death at a young age left his son Roland – 16 years old at the time – to take over. Roland went on to expand the company by purchasing new land and giving his name to the family house of Champagne.
Today Champagne Roland Champion is run by Roland’s son François, third generation of the family. He is the winemaker, and he runs the winery with the help of his family, including his fourth-generation daughters Carole and Clémence. François farms 18 hectares, spread over 40 different parcels. His vineyards are planted with 70% Chardonnay, 20% Pinot Meunier and 10% Pinot Noir. Grapes are manually harvested (as it is the rule in Champagne) and pressed immediately on-site to avoid oxidation and preserve quality. The wine is aged in their troglodytic chalk cellar, which maintains a constant temperature of 12 degrees Celsius. (53°F)
Production is around 7,000 cases: 70% vintage & Special Club Champagne, 25% non-vintage blanc de blanc, and 5% rose brut. Champagne Roland Champion was sold only within France, until Kysela began importing their products in 2008.
As an independent grower and Champagne maker that owns the vineyards and the equipment (press, vinification cellars and ageing cellars), they have the letters RM (French for Récoltant Manipulant) printed on each label. This represent the highest quality Champagne, as opposed to NM (Négociant Manipulant), RC (Récoltant Coopérateur), CM (Coopérative de Manipulation) MA (Marque d’Acheteur) or ND (Négociant Distributeur).