Champagne is a sparkling wine produced only from grapes grown in the Champagne region of France, which is a single Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC).

The three primary grapes used in the production of Champagne are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier (other grape varieties are permitted but rarely used).

Methode Champenoise is the traditional method by which Champagne is produced – where, after primary fermentation and bottling a second fermentation occurs in the bottle.

Most Champagnes are non-vintage where a minimum of one and a half years ageing is required. In years where there is an outstanding harvest Champagne houses may 'declare' the vintage (millesimé) using only grapes from that particular year – three years maturation is required for these wines.

Champagne producers must adhere to a strict set of rules and regulations as set down by the Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC). These include the amount of pruning, pressing, crop yield, time on lees before bottling as well as limiting the release of Champagne to market to maintain prices.


Champagne council launches e-learning programme

22nd May 2015

Champagne’s governing body has launched its first e-learning programme, Champagne Campus, in an effort to inform and educate younger consumers in particular.

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Shipwreck Champagne shows 19th Century Europe’s sweet tooth

22nd April 2015

Many Champagne drinkers in 19th Century Europe were used to a level of residual sugar that is virtually unheard of by today’s standards, shows chemical analysis of 170-year-old Champagne found at...

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Champagne producers debate new disgorgement rule

20th April 2015

A debate is underway in Champagne over whether there should be a mandatory resting period for wines following disgorgement, before bottles are released on the market.

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2014 Champagne sales hit second highest total on record

19th January 2015

Around 308m bottles of Champagne were sold around the world in 2014, according to provisional figures, while the new head of regional body Comite Champagne expects exports to overtake domestic...

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Champagne festival 2015

Champagne exports 'will overtake' French sales for first time in 2015

19th January 2015

More Champagne will be shipped abroad than sold in France in 2015, according to the new head of the Comite Champagne, who also warned that houses and growers must 'actively fight climate change'.

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Champagne UNESCO hopes 'looking good', says official

15th December 2014

Champagne is believed to have enhanced its chances of joining the UNESCO World Heritage list following a cellar tour by members of the voting committee.

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Chalons-en-Champagne protest 2014

Champagne growers 'exasperated' with social charges

11th November 2014

Mass street protests in Champagne last week reflect rising frustration over taxes and social charges, say winemakers and growers.

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France Bleu Wall

Champagne growers brick up government building

7th November 2014

More than a thousand Champagne grape growers this week joined with farmers for street protests against execssive tax that led to activists bricking up the entrance to a local government headquarters.

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Tyson Stelzer’s top 10 late-disgorged Champagnes

1st August 2014

The release of Bollinger’s RD 2002 in the same month as Billecart-Salmon’s Nicolas François Billecart 2002 has reignited the discussion over the best time to disgorge Champagne. Tyson Stelzer...


Global Champagne demand dips in 2013

16th January 2014

A late Christmas surge in consumer demand failed to prevent global Champagne sales dropping by 1.5% last year versus 2012, to 304m bottles, new figures show.

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UK retailers report strong Christmas for Prosecco, Bordeaux, Bucks Fizz

8th January 2014

Magnums of Prosecco and Champagne surged in popularity over Christmas, according to UK supermarket Sainsbury's, with several retailers including Majestic and Tesco reporting higher festive wine...

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Kevin McKee

Moet exec takes up Champagne Taittinger UK role

7th January 2014

Champagne Taittinger has said that Kevin McKee has left his job at rival house Moet Hennessy to join the group as UK director.

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Vintage Champagne

Vintage Champagne latest releases (as of 2013): panel tasting results

18th December 2013

Vintage Champagne offers the best value of any of the Champagne categories, agreed our tasters, but choose carefully as there's huge diversity - and then don't hurry to drink it. See the top rated...

UK Christmas Champagne price war begins early

28th October 2013

Christmas price offers on Champagne in UK supermarkets have started early, and could be even fiercer than usual in 2013, as Tesco's wine category manager says the group has a 'strong plan' in place.

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Vranken Pommery

Vranken Pommery Monopole sees Champagne sales rise

23rd October 2013

Vranken Pommery Monopole has struck a more upbeat tone than some of its rivals after seeing Champagne sales rebound in the third quarter of its financial year.

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Europe drags on Moet Hennessy Champagne sales

16th October 2013

New figures show weaker demand for Champagne in Europe has weighed on Moet Hennessy and its owner, LVMH, in the firms' financial year-to-date, but the groups are optimistic for the 2013 harvest.

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Richard Geoffroy

The Decanter interview: Richard Geoffroy

4th October 2013

Eloquent, smart, hardworking and fun, Mr Dom Pérignon did his best to shrug off his family's Champagne-making heritage before destiny caught up with him. 'I thought I could do better – and I was...

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Bruno Paillard Bollinger

Champagne Bruno Paillard backs off legal action in Bollinger bottle dispute

4th October 2013

Champagne Bruno Paillard has decided not to take legal action against rival Bollinger over a claim that it 'stole' Paillard's bottle design.

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Virginie T

Claude Taittinger’s daughter goes solo in Champagne

2nd October 2013

Virginie Taittinger, once the 'princess' of her family's Champagne dynasty, has returned to the scene with her own cuvee.

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Moet 1914

Moet & Chandon to sell 1914 Champagne at special Sotheby's auction

17th September 2013

Moet & Chandon is preparing to sell hundreds of bottles of vintage Champagne spanning the past Century via a special auction at Sotheby's to mark the French group's 270th anniversary.

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Lanson-BCC suffers Champagne sales dip in fiscal first-half

11th September 2013

Champagne house Lanson-BCC has reported a tough first half of 2013, hit by higher costs and weak demand in the second quarter.

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Legal battle looms over Apple's 'Champagne' iPhone

3rd September 2013

A legal battle is looming between Apple and the Champagne authorities amid reports suggesting that the electronics giant is poised to launch a 'Champagne'-coloured version of the iPhone.

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Pernod Ricard expands Champagne reach in China, US and Africa

3rd September 2013

Pernod Ricard has said its Champagne division benefited from a deeper reach in the US, Asia and Africa in its last fiscal year, but the French market remains tough.

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Champagne vineyard

Champagne yield set for 2013 harvest

2nd August 2013

The yield for the 2013 Champagne harvest has been set at 10,000 kilograms per hectare, with an additional 500kg/ha allowed to be released from producers' reserve stocks next February, the Comité...

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Champagne hail damage July 2013

Hail destroys 300ha of vineyards in Champagne, says report

1st August 2013

Last weekend's severe hailstorms caused such extensive damage that several parts of the Champagne region lost up to half the potential 2013 crop, according to an official report issued yesterday.

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Myriam and Nicolas Dubois

Champagne supplier Pressoirs de France rescued by Cos d'Estournel owner

31st July 2013

The Pressoirs de France group, supplier of cheap Champagne to major UK supermarkets, has been saved by an investment from Switzerland-based French businessman Michel Reybier.

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Investment potential fuelling surge in Champagne sales: merchants

24th July 2013

A lacklustre 2012 Bordeaux en primeur campaign has contributed to a surge in fine Champagne sales, merchants reckon.

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Bordeaux vineyard

French harvest set for 13% increase on 2012

8th July 2013

France is currently on course for a normal-sized grape harvest in 2013, but continued poor weather could yet jeopardise this year's crop, according to the country's agriculture ministry.

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Video: Benoit Gouez of Moet & Chandon

26th June 2013

Moet & Chandon chef de cave Benoit Gouez speaks to Decanter about the process of putting together the Champagne house's rose wines, as well as introducing the newest release of Moet & Chandon...

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Champagne Jacquart launches new 'prestige' vintage

20th June 2013

Champagne Jacquart has just lauched its new prestige cuvée, the Alpha 2005.

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Video: Michel Drappier at Vinexpo

19th June 2013

Decanter caught up with Champagne Drappier owner Michel Drappier at Vinexpo in Bordeaux and uncovered the reason behind a recent trend towards large-format Champagne bottles

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DP 2004

Dom Perignon 2004 Champagne and food pairing

14th June 2013

See the images and tasting notes from Dom Perignon's food and Champagne pairing event, matching Dom Perignon 2004 to a variety of different dishes, hosted by the Chef de Cave Richard Geoffroy...

Dominique Demarville

Video: Veuve Clicquot Champagne and food pairing with Dominique Demarville

12th June 2013

Watch a video of Dominique Demarville, chef de cave at Veuve Clicquot, talking about pairing Veuve Clicquot's Yellow Label with scallops and Rose NV with lobster.

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Krug will not release 2012 vintage

10th June 2013

Champagne Krug will not release a 2012 wine despite the 'exceptional potential' of the vintage, its chef de cave has said.

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International Sparkling Wine Symposium

'Big changes' in sparkling wine to be discussed at symposium

6th June 2013

Radical changes in the sparkling wine world caused by climate change and the opening up of new regions, will be one of the key discussion points at the next International Sparkling Wine Symposium...

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China grants Champagne official protection

28th May 2013

Champagne has become the latest drinks category to gain protected status in China – meaning that it will be illegal for copycat products to use the Champagne name on their labels.

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Dom Perignon 2004

Dom Perignon 2004 selling out within hours of release say merchants

23rd May 2013

London’s wine merchants were delighted on Thursday morning to get a preview of Dom Perignon 2004 – as one said, ‘Finally, something we can sell’ after the lacklustre Bordeaux en primeur campaign.

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Tasmania seeks to tempt Champagne investors

10th May 2013

Officials in Tasmania are seeking to persuade Champagne houses to invest in their island's potential.

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Nashik vineyards

Moet-Hennessy announces locally-produced sparkling for India

3rd May 2013

Moet-Hennessy has unveiled plans to release a domestic sparkling wine in India, after investing in the Nashik region north-east of Mumbai.

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Bordeaux 2011 picture of Chateau Petrus

Petrus plans distribution change

28th April 2013

Chateau Pétrus is set for a distribution shakeup, forming a new company as sole distributor.

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Claude Giraud

Maison Giraud urges Champagne industry to use local oak

23rd April 2013

Claude Giraud, the owner of Maison Henri Giraud Champagne, has launched an appeal to the big-name Champagne houses to use more local oak in the production of their wines.

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Jean-Marie Barillère

UK 'not the future for Champagne growth'

2nd April 2013

The UK is not where growth for Champagne will be found in the future, the new president of the Union des Maisons de Champagne, Jean-Marie Barillère, has warned.

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Jacques Selosse

€300k of Champagne stolen in Jacques Selosse raid

27th March 2013

More than three and a half thousand bottles of Champagne bottles worth €300,000 have been stolen from acclaimed grower Jacques Selosse in a heist described as 'well-organised'.

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Frederic Panaiotis Ruinart

Video interview: Frederic Panaiotis, Champagne Ruinart

26th March 2013

Watch our exclusive video interview with Frederic Panaiotis, Chef de Caves at Champagne Ruinart, talking about the launch of their latest vintage, Dom Ruinart Rosé 1998, its first vintage rosé...

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Michel Drappier

Video interview: Michel Drappier, Drappier Champagne

22nd March 2013

Watch our exclusive video interview with Michel Drapper, owner and winemaker at Champagne Drappier talking about his unique styles of Champagne, the current trends and what the 2012 vintage was...

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Bruno Paillard

Video interview: Bruno Paillard

15th March 2013

Watch our exclusive interview with Bruno Paillard, Champagne maker and President of Comité Champagne’s Communication and Appellation Commission, talking about the current trends in Champagne as...

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Henri Krug

Henri Krug dies

15th March 2013

Henri Krug, former head of Champagne Krug, has died of cancer aged 76.

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Myriam and Nicolas Dubois

Champagne negociant facing break-up

6th March 2013

Champagne negociant business Pressoirs de France is almost certain to be broken up and its assets sold off after the company's administrator failed to sell it.

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Champagne shipments fall by 14m bottles

15th February 2013

Champagne sold 14m less bottles in 2012, a 4.4% decline after a slump in pre-Christmas trade.

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Top-rated rosé Champagne

14th February 2013

See Decanter's selection of top-rated rose Champagnes perfect to celebrate with...