What stages does Champagne go through before it is released for sale?

The bottles undergo a long maturation period in the producer’s cellars, stored away from light.

From the date of bottling, non-vintage wines are required by law to spend a minimum of 15 months in the producer’s cellars and vintage wines at least 3 years.

During the second fermentation, the wine becomes sparkling.

There are still a number of stages to go through before the wine can be sold.


Riddling (remuage) to remove the sediment left by the second fermentation.

This involves rotating the bottle by small increments, clockwise and anti-clockwise, then tilting the bottle neck-down to draw the sediment into the neck.

This may be done manually or mechanically.



Disgorgement (dégorgement) involves removing the deposit that riddling has brought up to the neck of the bottle.

This may be done manually or mechanically.

Automated riddling involves dipping the neck of the bottle in a refrigerating solution at -27°C, forming an ice cube that traps the sediment.

The frozen plug is then ejected under pressure when the bottle is opened, with minimum loss of wine and pressure.



Dosage involves the addition of a small quantity of “dosage liqueur”,
also known as”liqueur d’expédition”, a mixture of cane sugar and wine that will determine the style of the Champagne: brut, demi-sec, etc.