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NM, CM, and RM are:

A. Abbreviations for three new hybrids (whose use is still pending) developed by the French Agricultural Ministry to cope with global warming

B. The names of strains of yeasts that have recently been developed at the University of California at Davis; the “m” stands for “myces”—Latin for “fungus”

C. The initials of three of Europe’s top coopers of French barriques

D. Abbreviations that denote different types of Champagne producers

D.

Champagne is made by different types of producers. The type can be identified from abbreviations that appear on every bottle of Champagne.

  • NM stands for Négociant manipulant. These companies buy grapes and make the wine. Most of the houses (Moet & Chandon, Taittinger, Perrier Jouet etc.) are NMs.
  • CM stands for Coopérative de manipulation. These are cooperatives that make wines from the growers who are members, with all the grapes pooled together (the well-known brand Nicolas Feuillatte is a CM).
  • RM stand for Récoltant manipulant. These are “Grower Champagnes” that is, the grower makes wine from its own grapes.

Other initials you might see include:

  • SR stands for Société de récoltants. An association of growers making a shared Champagne but who are not a co-operative.
  • RC stands for Récoltant coopérateur. A co-operative member selling Champagne produced by the co-operative under its own name and label.
  • MA stands for Marque auxiliaireor Marque d’acheteur. A brand name unrelated to the producer or grower; the name is owned by someone else, for example, a supermarket.
  • ND stands for Négociant distributeur. A wine merchant selling under his own name.

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