UMC - Grandes Marques et Maisons de Champagne

Since 1882 the UMC has brought together all of the Grandes Marques brands and Champagne Houses that collectively underpin the worldwide reputation of Champagne wines. This website is specifically designed to teach you everything you need to know about their history and organization, their expertise and their ever-innovative ambitions.

Champagne only comes from Champagne, France


Véraison is the onset of ripening: the Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier turn red and the Chardonnay turns golden.
Hardening off is the stage when the shoots become brown and woody.

Under the aegis of the AVC (Association Viticole Champenoise), volunteer professionals monitor ripening to determine the optimal harvest date for each cru.

The Champagne month by month
History and historical anecdotes

Did you know?

In World War I, the Champagne House cellars were repurposed as shelters for local civilians and military personnel. Makeshift schools, hospitals, chapels and sleeping quarters were set up – even the Reims City Council moved its headquarters there. So began a whole new underground way of life, safe from the bombs that rained down from above.


Belgian-born Paul-François Vranken founded his namesake House in 1976. Nine years later he acquired Chateau des Castaignes, followed in 2004 by the Villa Demoiselle, whose location inspired the name of the brand’s signature cuvee, Demoiselle. Now the Vranken Head Office, the building is a masterpiece of Art Nouveau, and stands as a tribute to the project management team in charge of the four-year restoration programme.

The Champagne Houses
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