Basket of chardonnay grapes

Being a northerly region, Champagne is subject to considerable variation in growing conditions from year to year. However, keep in mind that Champagne is a large area, and a particular vintage can only be discussed in the most general of terms. A given year may not be particularly suitable to a widespread declaration of vintage wines, yet certain sites and microclimates can excel even in lesser years, especially if the grower is diligent and conscientious about his or her labor in the vines. There are plenty of examples of excellent wines being made in vintages that would not normally attract much interest—as always, it’s wiser to let your choice be guided more by producer than by vintage.