Learn About Champagne

The most fiercely protected wine name of all, ‘Champagne’ can be made only from vines grown on the chalky hillsides around Reims and Epernay in north eastern France.  The Montagne de Reims and the Vallée de la Marne are ideal for cultivating the two red grapes used, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, whilst the Côtes de Blancs is perfect for the production of the white variety employed, Chardonnay. View our range.

The traditional method

Following completion of the first fermentation, which takes place in the vat, the still wine is bottled and a second fermentation is induced; the wine is allowed to stay on the lees (sediment) for a minimum of 15 months (or more, the longer the better) after which it is skilfully removed without allowing any of the sparkle, which has been absorbed into the wine, to evaporate.  Champagne is born.

Different styles of Champagne

Non Vintage Champagne is a blend of several years, whilst Vintage (which must rest on the lees for at least three years) is the product of one year only.  Blanc de Blanc are made of chardonnay only while Blanc de Noirs are made from dark skin grapes (Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier).  Although some growers make and market their own wine, most is handled by the Champagne Houses large and small, many of whom have built up of international brands famous throughout the world. The famoust names includes Bollinger, Louis Roederer, Pol Roger, Gosset, Krug and Laurent Perrier.

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