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Wine Spectator School


Class 9: Winegrowing and Winemaking


 
MAKING CHAMPAGNE and SPARKLING WINE

Winemaking is key to creating the style of sparkling wine.

 

 

The Champagne Method

The Champagne method, or méthode champenoise, makes the world's best sparkling wines.

True Champagne come only from the Champagne region of France. Outside of Champagne, the term méthode traditionnelle is used, but the process is exactly the same.

 

Press

To avoid extracting color and tannins from the skins, careful pressing is very important for top quality Champagne and sparkling wine. The Champagne region even has laws regulating how hard the grapes can be pressed.

The grapes are generally not destemmed; during pressing, the stems provide drainage channels so the juice flows away from the solids quickly and easily.

 

Make Base Wine

The base wine is acidic and low in alcohol.

The...

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