Champagne Making Process

Picking

Manual picking has always been the tradition in Champagne because only the human hand has the dexterity to select whole and undamaged clusters which are necessary to meet the rules of the appellation.

Pressing

Champagne pressing centres are always located in the vineyards to avoid long distance transport which can damage the skin of the grapes and therefore colour the must. The pressing is a very gentle process to extract a white juice.

Alcoholic Fermentation

The first fermentation or the transformation of the must in wine is a natural process which starts, as a result of the existence of the sugar and the yeast that the grapes contain.

Blending

It is the most delicate step in the Champagne making process. Wines from different villages and from the different grape varieties, ( a wide range of different flavours), will be mixed to ensure constant taste and quality. More than a hundred wines can be blended in a single bottle.

Effervescence

A second alcoholic fermentation is started as a result of sugar and yeast added in the bottle. The fermentation process produces alcohol and releases gas. This gas trapped inside will give birth to the Champagne bubbles and the fermented yeast will make a sediment which will lie on the side of the bottle.

Ageing

The wines are then aged for minimum 15 months for standard Champagnes and 3 years for vintage Champagnes. During this period, the wine develops its complex aromas.

Riddling and Disgorging

Once the ageing process completed, we must get rid of the sediment which takes two steps. The first one consist of progressively turning and getting the bottle to a vertical position to make the sediment slide down to the neck of the bottle, the riddling process.When all the sediment has reached the neck, it will removed by opening the bottle.

Final Touch

A expedition liquor is then added to our wines. That is a subtle blend of aged wine and sugar. According to the quantity of sugar added we can get Brut, Demi-Sec or drier or sweeter Champagnes.