Champagne is a sparkling wine produced from grapes grown in the Champagne region of France following rules that demand secondary fermentation of the wine in the bottle to create carbonation. Some use the term champagne as a generic term for sparkling wine, but many countries reserve the term exclusively for sparkling wines that come from Champagne and are produced under the rules of the appellation. The primary grapes used in the production of Champagne are Pinot noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier. Champagne appellation law only allows grapes grown according to appellation rules in specifically designated plots within the appellation to be used in the production of Champagne. Some sparkling wines produced in other regions of the world use other grapes.
Champagne first gained world renown because of its association with the anointment of French kings. Royalty from throughout Europe spread the message of the unique sparkling wine from Champagne and its association with luxury and power in the 17th, 18th and 19th century. The leading manufacturers devoted considerable energy to creating a history and identity for their wine, associating it and themselves with nobility and royalty. Through advertising and packaging they sought to associate Champagne with high luxury, festivities, and rites of passage. Their efforts coincided with the emergence of a middle class that was looking for ways to spend its money on symbols of upward mobility.
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Sparkling = Wine + CO2
There are four method to produce sparkling wines
Traditional / Champanoise Method
- Second fermentation happen in bottle itself
- Liqueur De Tirage
Tank / Clos Cuvee / Charmat Method (Shar-Mah)
Second fermentation take place in a close or seal tank then the wine is filter from sediment under pressure. This method is faster than the bottle method or traditional method. It is less expensive. Bulk sparkling wine are produce in this method. Frenchmen Eugene Charmat who invented this method. Commercial sparkling wine are made by this method but not the premium one. Bubbles are larger and defuse more readily.
It is the compromise method of traditional and tank method. Second fermentation take place in bottle after maturation the wine is filter to remove the sediment which is form during second fermentation. Than once again under counted the pressure the sparkling wine is bottled.
The base wine is blended sweetened and chilled CO2 gas in infuse into the pressure tank until the required amount of pressure is achieved. The wine is then bottled under counted pressure once again the bubbles are larger and defuse more readily. This wine must label as carbonated wine.
* Sparkling wine are made from both grapes red and white.
* Cooler climate brings out the best features of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier for making of premium quality sparkling wine. Cool climate are consider ideal for sparkling wine production due to higher natural acidity is retain and a higher intensity of varietal character is developed of lower sugar levels. This wine is more suitable for elegant sparkling wine.
* Sparkling wines are mature on lees.
* Chenin blanc grapes are used in charmat method which is less expensive than pinot noir and chardonnay in traditional method.
* In America traditional method is called as Champanoise method.
* High quality wines that have been aged for a long time have very small bubbles.
* Sparkling wine made in charmat method are more fruity flavor than the bottle fermentation.