Log In / Join Now

Wine Spectator School

Class 9: Winegrowing and Winemaking


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.



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.


Ready to enroll?

First, you must register for a membership to WineSpectator.com. Your membership benefits include:
  • FREE enrollment in any course at Wine Spectator School
  • Over 230,000 searchable ratings and tasting notes
  • FREE mobile access so you can research wines wherever you are
  • E-newsletters with advance ratings
  • Editors’ blogs
  • Food and wine matching tool
  • And much more
Log In If You're Already a WineSpectator.com Member

If you have questions about Wine Spectator School, please contact us.

Job Opportunity

Wine Spectator is hiring an assistant editor at its New York office. Get more details.

Free Email Newsletters—Sign Up

Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions
New! Ratings Flash | New! Unfiltered

» View samples
» Or sign up now!
» Manage my newsletter preferences


The marketplace for all your wine needs, including:

Wine Storage | Wine Clubs
Dining & Travel | Wine Auctions
Wine Shops | Wine Accessories

WineRatings+ app: Download now for 340,000+ ratings.