Farmer Fizz: the world of Terry Theise Champagnes

(photo: Terry Theise Champagne tasting, from

Vinography had a great posting last fall regarding tasting through the Terry Theise Champagne portfolio. Alder always has wonderful information and descriptions, and it’s always a pleasure to read his blog. Many of you locally know Terry as the guru of German wine importing, and thanks to his many appearances in town he has developed quite the following (well deserved by the way. Terry was one of the first to truly shape my thinking on taste, scores, and food pairings). But there is a quiet, lesser known side to this fabulous wine personality: his love of Champagne and his ability to import some of the best “Farmer Fizz” around.

This term, “Farmer Fizz”, refers to the RARE producer in Champagne, France that actually grows their own grapes and bottles their own bubbly. Most are content (thanks to amazingly high grape prices) to sell to the ‘big guys’ and cash the check. But a small handful are fanatical about their own product.

Check out the article from Vinography on the Terry Theise Champagnes. And if you’re REALLY into bubbly you want to download the current Theise catalog (about 3MB) and read the first eleven pages … you’ll learn more about Champagne in an afternoon than you have all year long.

JUST ANNOUNCED: Terry has won a James Beard Award for “Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional”! Congrats Terry!

For more education on the “Farmer Fizz” world (including a neat little trick for figuring out numerical French labeling codes) read this article from the 30 Second Wine Advisor.


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