Champagne René Geoffroy is a small Champagne house owned and operated by the Geoffroy family. Like many small grower/producers in Champagne, the family has owned vineyards for generations. The Geoffroy family was living in the village of Cumières in the 17th century and grew grapes to sell to large, local producers until the 1950s, when the family began making its own Champagne. René Geoffroy continued to expand the estate in the 1970s and 1980s, and his son Jean-Baptiste took over in the late 1980s. Today the estate has 35 acres of vineyards divided into 35 parcels planted to 42% Pinot Noir, 34% Pinot Meunier, and 24% Chardonnay. Geoffroy makes a full range of brut and extra brut Champagnes. Wine Advocate has noted that above all, Geoffroy Champagnes are lively and fresh.
Champagne is a small, beautiful wine growing region northeast of Paris whose famous name is misused a million times a day. As wine enthusiasts and all French people are well aware, only sparkling wines produced in Champagne from grapes grown in Champagne can be called Champagne. Sparkling wines produced anywhere else, including in other parts of France, must be called something besides Champagne. Champagne producers are justifiably protective of their wines and the prestige associated with true Champagne. Though the region was growing grapes and making wines in ancient times, it began specializing in sparkling wine in the 17th century, when a Benedictine monk named Dom Pierre Pérignon formulated a set guidelines to improve the quality of the local sparkling wines. Despite legends to the contrary, Dom Pérignon did not “invent” sparkling wine, but his rules about aggressive pruning, small yields and multiple pressings of the grapes were widely adopted, and by the 18th and 19th centuries Champagne had become the wine of choice in fashionable courts and palaces throughout Europe. Today there are 75,000 acres of vineyards in Champagne growing Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier. Champagne’s official appellation system classifies villages as Grand Cru or Premier Cru, though there are also many excellent Champagnes that simply carry the regional appellation. Along with well-known international Champagne houses there are numerous so-called “producer Champagnes,” meaning wines made by families who, usually for several or more generations, have worked their own vineyards and produced Champagne only from their own grapes.