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.




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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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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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 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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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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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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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 & 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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