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Who Makes Kirkland Champagne? Answered (2023 Updated)

Last Updated on December 29, 2022 by Lydia Martin

Champagne indicates celebration, often seen on special occasions such as victory parties, weddings, and holidays.

Kirkland Champagne is the go-to celebratory drink by people who don’t want to break their bank, but who makes Kirkland Champagne? 

We did intensive research about Costco’s cheap yet good-quality Champagne, so read on.  

The Company Behind Kirkland Champagne

Kirkland Champagne

Kirkland Signature Champagne is crafted by a company called Manuel Janisson, and its HQ is based in Virginia.

Costco does not own a Champagne house, so it sources every bottle of Kirkland brand Champagne from the company that owns Janisson Champagne. 

The Kirkland Signature Champagne Brut is made in their vineyard in Verzenay, France. It has undergone a well-controlled multi-step process to ensure you get authentic Champagne. 

Kirkland Signature Champagne is crafted by a company called Manuel Janisson; the company’s headquarters is based in Virginia, and it runs in partnership with Claude Thibaut.

The Kirkland Signature Brut Champagne is not the best in the world, but it is a good deal for its reasonable price.

A certified level two sommelier reviewed the Costco Champagne and said that the soft mouthfeel, salinity, and brightness are highly recommended. 

Who Is Manuel Janisson? 

The Janisson Family winery began in the 1920s, and their family produces wines from the vines that Manuel Janisson grew in France.

The family tradition of winemaking continues with Manuel, his wife Marie Eve, and his business partner Claude Thibaut. 

Manuel Janisson headed to California and decided to team up with Thibaut to produce their sparkling wines.

Claude Thibaut and Manuel Janisson introduced their brand of Champagne to the US, and now their sparkling wine is well-accepted worldwide. 

However, you may wonder why you rarely find Manuel Janisson labels in the US.

It is because they often operate as a private label company wherein they produce the sparkling wine but bear the label of the company they are sold under (i.e., Kirkland label).  

How Do They Make Kirkland Signature Champagne?

How Does It Make Kirkland Signature Champagne?

Production Process

Kirkland Signature Champagne Brut undergoes primary fermentation and methode champenoise, wherein the yeast and sugar are converted to carbon dioxide upon secondary fermentation.

The production process of Kirkland Champagne happens in the vineyard of Janisson in California. 

There are six steps involved in the production process of Kirkland Signature Champagne. The grapes grown from allowed locations are used for the primary fermentation then the cellarmaster will blend the wines for assemblage.

The wine will undergo secondary fermentation with little yeast and sugar inside the bottles. 

Fun Fact: Champagne must come from the Champagne region in France. However, a handful of producers in California are allowed to use the name Champagne [1] because of complex historical connections. 

Maturation Process

Wine Bottles

After the secondary fermentation, the winery should mature the Kirkland Champagne for at least 15 months inside the bottles.

Once Costco’s Champagne has finished the maturation process, winemakers will disgorge the bottles and add 0 to 12g/L residual sugar to achieve the final taste.

Unlike other wines, all Champagnes from France and California must undergo 15 months of maturation inside a bottle before release. 

Fun Fact: Champagne must come from the Champagne region in France. However, a handful of producers in California are allowed to use the name Champagne [1] because of complex historical connections.

Where It Sources Materials

There are two designations of France’s Champagne region: Grand Cru and Premier Cru. Grand Cru Villages produces the highest quality wine, while Kirkland Champagne is made from grapes from Grand Cru Village. 

Based on the back label of the Costco Champagne, the sparkling wine is a blend of Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay grape varieties from Verzenay. 

The Grand Cru champagne is real Champagne, even if it is not made in the Champagne Region of France. 

Champagne wine must adhere to an extensive list of rules and regulations, so the consumer can be confident of the quality. One of the rules specified in the approved law is the grape varieties. 

The winery should only use Pinot Meunier, Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay, Arbane, Petit Meslier, and Pinot Gris. 

Read:

Does Janisson Also Make Kirkland Signature Prosecco?

Kirkland Signature Prosecco

No, Janisson does not make Kirkland Signature Prosecco. While the winery is not disclosed, Misa Imports is in-charge of the imports of the Prosecco. The winery that makes Kirkland Prosecco is based in Italy, while Janisson is based in California. 

The Kirkland Champagne is non-vintage Champagne produced by Janisson and imported by DC Flynt. It bears the champagne appellation because it follows the long list of rules of Champagne regulation [2].

Does Kirkland Champagne Taste Like Janisson Champagne? 

Janisson Champagne with box on desk

Kirkland Champagne does not taste like Janisson Champagne. Based on our blind tasting, the two wines have differences in their tasting notes, even if they share the same winery. 

Manuel Janisson’s own Champagne Janisson is a blend of 30% Chardonnay and 70% Pinot Noir. On the contrary, the Costco version is a blend of Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay. 

The Costco Champagne has hints of freshly baked bread, lemon, apricot, citrus, green apple, and floral notes. However, Janisson Champagne has toasty notes with hints of lemon zest and apples. 

Manuel Janisson owns Champagne Janisson bottles, but even though they have their own brand and produce other labels, they ensure they do not share similar tasting notes. 

FAQs 

Is Kirkland Signature Champagne the cheapest at Costco?

No, Kirkland Signature Champagne is not the cheapest at Costo, but it is relatively affordable.

If you frequently shop at your local Costco, there are other sparkling wines with great prices, cheaper than the Kirkland Champagne, which is priced at roughly $19.99 per bottle.  

Does Kirkland Signature Champagne make great Mimosas?

Yes, Kirkland Signature Champagne makes great Mimosas that can get you drunk.

Aside from its price point, it is a great Champagne with fantastic tasting notes that blend well with orange juice.

If you want French Champagne for your mimosas, you can try Veuve Clicquot. 

Final Thoughts

Manuel Janisson makes Kirkland Champagne for the Costco warehouse.

The wine produced by Janisson came from Verzenay, France, so Kirkland Champagne is considered real stuff.

It is well-received by many because of its amazing tasting notes and affordable price. 

Contrary to the belief that wines priced below $20 are of the lowest quality, the Kirkland Champagne is made of grapes from Grand Cru, which guarantees the highest quality. 

Each bottle is made through a rigorous process, and you should try one on your next special occasion.

References:

  1. https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2005-sep-15-fi-wine15-story.html 
  2. https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/27/4.21

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