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 alcoholic fermentation 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.