Champagne

champagne

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

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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italian sparkling wine

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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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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christmas, christmas gift guide,

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

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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Apple

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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Perrier-Jouët

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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champagne

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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Jacquart

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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Krug

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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Champagne

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

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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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

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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travel, Champagne

Decanter travel guide: Champagne, France

8th August 2012

Apart from the famous wines, this region is rich with world heritage sites, history and art. Giles Fallowfield bases himself in Reims for a busy long weekend. Read the full guide to Champagne,...

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