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.

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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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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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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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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