The Gruet family started their own Champagne house, Gruet & Fils in 1952, then converted their family-owned winery into a co-operative in the sixties in order to reach economies of scale. Seeking further opportunities for expansion, part of the family moved to New Mexico to found Gruet Winery in the eighties which became very successful, garnering a slew of awards and acclaim. In the nineties the family founded a new Champagne house apart from the Co-operative that still bears their name, called Champagne Paul Laurent. Two-thirds of all Champagne produced is drunk within France, but the brands that are so familiar to us in America are not nearly so dominant there. The French find smaller, family-owned houses that produce Champagne that is well-priced enough to be a regular indulgence. When we found this sustainably farmed Champagne at well below the usual average of $50, we said let’s drink Champagne like the French!