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The 10 best champagne cocktail recipes
The 10 best champagne cocktail recipes

The allure of cocktail champagne spans from the effervescent delight of a Bellini at brunch to the sophisticated sip...

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The world's oldest Champagne: secrets and mysteries revealed
The world's oldest Champagne: secrets and mysteries revealed

In the world of prestige wines, the oldest Champagnes in the world represent a fascinating category, combining...

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Champagne cork speed: How fast does it jump?
Champagne cork speed: How fast does it jump?

Opening a bottle of champagne is a symbol of celebration recognised the world over, but few people are aware of the...

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How to enjoy Champagne
How to enjoy Champagne

Tasting Champagne is like tasting any other wine, except that effervescence has a sound component. Champagne awakens...

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Massal and clonal selections in Champagne
Massal and clonal selections in Champagne

Thanks to massal selection, which consists of identifying the plants bearing the best fruit, and clonal selection,...

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Champagne terroirs


The Aisne

made with a predominance of Pinot Meunier, the wines have progressed here. They are supple and light. But the majority of harvesters and handlers still lack technique.


This region produces regular, well-structured wines, often riper and therefore less fresh, with a strong terroir character. In the Riceys area, Pinot Noir achieves an exceptional finesse that, when aged, equals that of wines from the Marne Valley.

The Côte des Blancs

It is renowned for the finesse and brilliance of its chardonnays, which are used to produce blanc de blancs champagnes.

Reims Mountain

The south, towards Ambonnay and Bouzy, produces full-bodied, characterful wines, especially Pinot Noir, which are more harmonious in Ambonnay and more earthy in Bouzy. Verzy and Verzenay, cold terroirs, produce Pinot Noirs that are more nervous and less perfect if not blended with a proportion of white grapes. Towards Chigny-les-Roses and Ludes, balanced grape varieties produce universal wines, good from aperitif to dessert.

The Little Marne Valley

From Dormans to Venteuil, the wines are only slightly fuller-bodied.

The great Marne valley

From Cumières to Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, it produces the most sumptuous Pinot Noir cuvées. In great years, they reach their peak between six and twelve years of age, and in some cases much longer.
Finally, Champagne also produces still wines bearing the Coteaux champenois appellation (red, rosé and white), such as bouzy rouge, or rosé des Riceys.


The best villages are classified according to their grape selling price, between 90 and 100% of the maximum price for the grape variety. If the price is between 99% and 90%, the villages are classified as Premier Cru, and if the price is 100%, they are labelled Grand Cru. Both terms can be used on the label. Although relatively precise, this scale covers the production of each village and not the best slopes of each one.


It's a champagne made exclusively from white chardonnay grapes. A linverse. Donc de noirs is a champagne made from black grapes such as pinot noir and pinot meunier.


These words designate champagnes that have been given different proportions of dosage liqueur prior tobottling. "Non dose", "brut Intégral" or "brut nature". These terms indicate the absence of any liqueur (and therefore the least sweet champagnes)


In great years, it is possible to vintage champagne. The wine in the bottle then comes from a single year. On average, five to six years are vintage per decade, but this trend is increasing substantially.


Champagne is the only region in France where rosé can be produced by blending red wine from Coteaux champenois (between 10 and 15%) o white wine, before champagnizing. The other technique consists of champagnising a wine made by pressing red grapes a little harder, or by a short vinification with the black skins of the grapes (saignée). The latter technique produces a deep-tinted champagne.


Before the bottles are sold, the winemaker or cellar master may add a dosage liqueur, also known as "liqueur d'expédition". This is often made from cane sugar dissolved in wine. The amount of liqueur added to the bottle varies according to the type of wine required:


between 0 and 6 grams of sugar per liter,


less than 12 grams of sugar per liter,


between 12 and 17 grams of sugar per liter,


between 17 and 32 grams of sugar per liter,


between 32 and 50 grams of sugar per liter,


more than 50 grams of sugar per liter.

If the wine has not been dosed with liqueur, or if its sugar content is less than 3 grams per liter, it may be labelled "brut nature", "non dosé
" or "dosage zéro".


The most widely planted grape variety in Champagne (38% of total vineyard area), pinot noir produces full-bodied wines that are slightly more delicate to press to prevent the juice from becoming colored, low in acidity and often mediocre in small years. In blends, it adds power and body. It is mainly found in the Aube region, on the Montagne de Reims and in the heart of the Marne valley. When the wine is made from just one or both Pinots (Noir or Meunier), it may be called Blanc de Noirs.


An emblematic grape variety of the Côte des Blancs, Chardonnay is characterized by its delicate aromas. It brings freshness, finesse and nerve to blends. Vinified on its own, it is marketed as a blanc de blancs. It is also found on the left bank of the Marne, with privileged flows on the Montagne de Reims, where it produces more robust champagnes. It accounts for 30% of the vineyard.