The making of champagne ?
It's a mystery to bubble lovers and connoisseurs, how do winemakers achieve this little scientific magic?
In the beginning...
Champagne is above all a wine. Made from grape varieties such as Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir, etc., it requires great care during its elaboration. The berries are harvested by hand or by machine and then sorted in the cellar to keep only the best.
Champagne is different in the sense that the "vintage" is not always relevant, especially in the industrial size estates where we can blend grapes from different parcels, different regions, and finally, for the rosé champagne, that's it, the only exception is you White and red wines can be blended for the rosé champagne.
So let's go, we harvest, we put our grapes in vats, then we go to fermentation, like a classic wine.
Once this step is finished, the assembly is ready.
As we just saw, each champagne house, each winemaker has their own style of champagne and therefore uses a different approach. Some mixed grape varieties: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier.
Other regions of blended Champagne: Aÿ, Vallée de la Marne, Côte des Blancscôte des Bars, and finally some blended vintages. Generally, the last 3 years have been added.
The traffic jam
Once blended, these wines are usually bottled around spring. Add a little liqueur (sugar mixed with old wine) in the bottle to get the sweetness of the wine and especially its sparkle! This is the capture of the foam. We seal the bottles and keep them quietly in the cellar.
It's far from over! The second fermentation begins in the bottle. Due to the addition of liqueur, the sugar in the wine is transformed into alcohol and carbon dioxide. The time to keep the bottle horizontally at 10°C for several months.
The handmade work has long been mechanized, and over the years the riddles have allowed dead yeast and sediment to accumulate at the bottom of the bottle.
The bottle is tilted down and turned a quarter turn every day for 3 months. The bottle can remain in this state for several years as it begins to age.
A key step in the making of champagne! Place the neck of the bottle with any sediment in the frozen nitrogen mixture. This converts the sediment into ice cubes and expels it when the bottle is opened for months or years under the pressure of carbon dioxide in the bottle.
A small amount of alcohol escapes during spitting. To replace this vacuum, the winegrower added a certain amount of sugar, a liqueur d'expédition.
This last can be more or less "administered". Between 33 and 50 grams of sugar we will have a half second of champagne demi-sec, between 6 and 15 grams we will have champagne Brut, and finally between 0 and 6 grams it is champagne extra Brut or champagne not dosed or nature.
You know everything! Or almost, pop the champagne corks now!