On arrival at the pressing centre,
the grapes are weighed
and recorded in a logbook.
Place the correct quantity of juice into the tank.
Pressing takes place
in approved centres.
The juice is separated into fractions:
the first juice extracted is known as the “cuvée”(20.50 hl); the second pressing is called the “taille” (5 hl).
The cuvée produces wines with great finesse,
asubtle aromas, a refreshing palate and good ageing potential.
The taille produces intensely aromatic wines,
which are fruitier when young but less age-worthy.
After pressing, the musts are treated with sulphites
to prevent their oxidation and decanted in order to clarify them.
After 12 to 24 hours, the clear juices,
free of sediment (“bourbes”),
are drawn off and transferred to the “cuverie” (fermenting room),
to begin the first stages of fermentation.
In order for the juice to become Champagne,
a number of fermentation processes
After clarification, the grape musts may also be chaptalised to produce a wine with a maximum alcohol level of 11 % by the end of fermentation.
Yeasts are added to convert the sugar contained in the juice into alcohol, carbon dioxide, superior alcohols and esters.
Following the alcoholic fermentation, the wines are clarified again. These still clear wines (“vins clairs”) can be used for the next stages of winemaking or set aside to be used in future blends.
After the alcoholic fermentation, the winemaker may decide to allow malolactic fermentation, which is done using bacteria belonging to the speciesOenococcus.This reduces and softens the wine’s acidity
and alters its sensory profile, introducing milky and brioche notes.
In order to kick start this fermentation, the winemaker adds to the wine a bottling liqueur (“liqueur de tirage”), composed of yeasts and 20-24 grams per litre of sugar, in order to produce a pressure by the end of fermentation of up to 5-6 atm.
During this fermentation process, the yeasts consume the sugar, transforming it to alcohol and carbon dioxide and releasing esters and other superior alcohols that contribute to the wine’s sensory profile.
Most Champagne wines are produced by blending
different crus (villages),
the three main Champagne grape varieties
(chardonnay, pinot noir and meunier)
and a proportion of “reserve”
wines from previous harvests.
Move 3 wines into each tank to create the desired blend.
There are a huge diversity of blends;
however the most common style for a Champagne is
Did you know?
A professional remueur (bottle turner) can handle roughly 40,000 bottles a day.
Did you know?
Champagne bottles are produced in accordance with strict specifications as they must be capable of withstanding high pressure and repeated handling.
The pressure inside the bottle rises to 5 – 6 bars (5.09 to 6.11 kg/cm2), equivalent to the pressure of a lorry tyre.