There are many stages to Champagne production:
- The pressing process is done manually to make the grape berries burst.
- During fermentation, the grape juice is placed into vats, for around two weeks. The juice is kept at a constant temperature of 18-20ºC, and it is during this first process of fermentation, called the “alcoholic” one, which activates the natural yeasts present in the grape juice, and transforms the sugars into a mix of alcohol and carbon gas.
- The clarification process rids the wine of yeasts and other solid particles that affect flavour.
- The wine-maker carries out the blending process by mixing together “still” wines (i.e. non-sparkling) from different harvests, for a steady final flavour.
- This stage is what puts the real “signature” on a cuvée of Champagne.
- This wine is then bottled, and sugar and yeasts added to it. This second fermentation turns the wine into a sparkling wine. The drawing stage allows for “fizz development”, and the bottle is stoppered with a capsule.
- The wine will rest for 15 months to make a Brut Champagne, and 36 months for a Millésime (a vintage).
- The riddling process can be done by hand or machine, and consists of turning the bottle from left to right, then placing it upside-down, to encourage the accumulation of natural deposits.
- 8/These are then frozen, and simply removed during the disgorging process, in which the neck of the bottle is plunged into a liquid of -25ºC.The bottle is then ready to receive its cork stopper, capsule, wire-cap, label and collar, which finalise the production of a bottle of Champagne.