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Who Makes Kirkland Champagne? Answered (2022 Updated)

Last Updated on September 9, 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 on desk with glass

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 California. It has undergone a well-controlled multi-step process to ensure you get authentic Champagne. 

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? 

Manuel Janisson Winery’s great history started with two French men – Claude Thibaut and Manuel Janisson. Both of them started to produce their sparkling wines, and when Manuel Janisson headed to California, he decided to team up with Thibaut. 

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

Maturation Process

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 Canada must undergo 15 months of maturation inside a bottle before release. 

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?

Does Janisson Also Make 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. While it is not French sparkling wine, it bears the Champagne appellation as long as it follows the long list of rules of Champagne regulation [2].

Does Kirkland Champagne Taste Like Janisson Champagne? 

Janisson Champagne on table with glass

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. 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

Kirkland Champagne for Costco warehouse is made by Manuel Janisson.

While the wine produced by Janisson came from Canada and not France, 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, so we recommend you 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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