In recent years, champagne has become the drink that accompanies all celebrations (weddings, baptisms, birthdays, etc.). Its sparkling bronze color and its subtle flavor are voluntary. It can be enjoyed as an aperitif or as a dessert and flute because it keeps its effervescence better.
Since our rush to organic, many Champagne wine growers have gradually turned to environmentally friendly production. Today, there are several varieties, including organic champagne, biodynamic champagne and natural champagne. Let's discover these three champagnes.
Although they have similarities, there are some differences between biodynamic and natural champagne and organic champagne.
Organic champagne is produced fromorganic farming and is free of pesticides and chemicals. Organic champagne does not necessarily taste better, it depends on the quality of the vineyard. Champagne must go through a transition period of four years before it can be certified organic after using chemicals.
Since 2005, the French Ministry of Agriculture has established the AB label to protect organic products. It must be accompanied by the words "Vin de l'Agriculture Biologique" and the name of the organization in charge of controlling the champagne.
Until 2012, the organic surfaces were dedicated to the cultivation of the wine part or the vine until the harvest. But from that year, the AB label also includes brewing. This means organic wine, because champagne is a sparkling wine, the process does not use any synthetic chemicals from the vineyards and no chemicals are used in the brewing process.
On the other hand, the elaboration of the biodynamic champagne is more specific. Biodynamic agriculture is based on esoteric practices. The thinker and philosopher Rudolf Steiner is at the origin of this movement. Avid winemakers believe that the survival of the terroir depends on a close relationship with the stars. The followers of this method plant the vine and prepare the champagne (planting, harvest, fermentation, etc.) according to the lunar calendar.
For the elaboration of Champagne, the biodynamic approach consists in fully respecting the natural relationship between the vine and all its environment (soil, earth, sun, moon...) to obtain the best grapes and thus the best Champagne.
The wine growers practicing biodynamics need natural potions (plant macerations, natural infusions...) to stimulate the soil and strengthen the vine.
If biodynamic champagne relies on esoteric practices in its production, and organic champagne does not use synthetic products or chemical ingredients, what about natural champagne? Natural champagne comes from vines grown without the use of chemicals and no inputs are used in the winemaking process. However, there is a threshold to respect and the sulfur dioxide (SO2) must not exceed 30 mg per liter. The elaboration of natural Champagne can come from organic or biodynamic agriculture, but does not use any winemaking inputs (except SO2).
You now know some of the steps involved in making champagne. Note that sulphites take a lot of place in their conception. However, despite its considerable role in preservation, sterilization, stabilization or clarification, many wine professionals denounce it for its potential to cause headaches. Thus, while some winemakers have reduced their consumption of sulfur, others have even banned it. Then there's organic, sulfite-free champagne, which comes from healthy, environmentally friendly practices. Let's take a closer look
Grapes naturally contain sulfur due to fermentation. If the principle is 30 mg/l, in general not more than 5 mg/l, except organic or biodynamic wines. For information, Champagne is an Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC), the only champagne belonging to the Champagne region. Thus, an organic champagne without sulfites is equivalent to an organic champagne without sulfur. In winemaking, sulfite or SO2 is the correct name for sulfur. Since 2005, the law requires the declaration "contains sulfites" when the S02 content exceeds 10 mg/l. Strictly speaking, there is no truly organic champagne without sulfite, as sulfur is produced naturally during the fermentation of the grapes. But "without added sulfites" means thatno sulfur has been added during the brewing process. Thus, an organic champagne without sulfite is a champagne from organic farming where no sulfite is artificially added during the fermentation process.
Founded in 1932, Demeter is an internationally certified brand of biodynamic agricultural products. The latter must respect the standards set by the European organic label and those associated with the Demeter brand. The Champagne Bio Demeter is thus a champagne elaborated according to these standards. The vines are cultivated without the use of synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. All the stages of theelaboration of the champagne are subjected to processes of high quality and respectful of the environment.