The winemaking process

your training programme:
3. The winemaking process

What are the stages in the Champagne making process?

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Let’s explore the main stages
of Champagne wine production.

The production of white wine from predominantly
black-skinned grapes (two-thirds of the harvest)
depends on five broad principles:

1. Pressing immediately after picking

2. Whole cluster pressing

3. A gentle, gradual increase in pressure

4. Low juice extraction

5. Separation of the juices into fractions

After pressing,
the grape juice undergoes

which transforms it into
still (non-sparkling) wine.

The still wines are
blended, then comes the
bottling stage,
which may not take place
until the January following the harvest.

After another fermentation (prise de mousse),
a long maturation period begins,
with the bottles stored
in cellars away from light.

Non-vintage wines must spend a minimum
of 15 months
in the producer’s cellars,
vintage wines are matured
for at least 3 years.


Did you know?

In Champagne, the tanks that receive the juices after pressing (the musts) are known as belons.



What is the role of the different fermentation processes?

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Champagne undergoes various fermentations.

Alcoholic fermentation


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Bottle fermentation
(‘prise de mousse’)


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What is blending (assemblage)?

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The art of blending originated in Champagne.


The blending process does not only combine wines from different crus (villages), but also from different grape varieties and years (for a non-vintage wine).