Négociant-Manipulant (NM) [pronunciation: ne-go-ci-an muh-nip-pu-lant]
A producer that bottles and markets Champagne using grapes purchased from other growers. This reflects the traditional structure in Champagne that has existed for hundreds of years, whereby growers would own vineyards and grow grapes, selling them to négociants who would make the wine.
A négociant may own vineyards as well, and in fact, some négociant houses own hundreds of hectares of vines, but they don’t make wine exclusively from their own vineyards. Today more growers are bottling their own wines, but the vast majority of Champagne continues to be produced by négociant houses. In addition, a number of prominent grower estates have recently switched to négociant status in order to purchase grapes, as land has become prohibitively expensive and difficult to obtain in the Champagne region.