Champagne is a sparkling wine named after the region of its production in northeast France.
The three primary grapes used in its production are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.
‘Methode Champenoise’ is the traditional method by which this sparkling wine is produced. Following primary fermentation and bottling, a second fermentation is initiated in the bottle by the addition of a liqueur de tirage.
Non-vintage champages make up the vast majority of production in the region and are a blend of the latest vintage plus several older reserve wines. Non-vintage wines require a minimum of 18 months ageing before release.
In years where there is an outstanding harvest, producers make champagnes using only grapes from that particular year and name as vintage champagne. A minimum of 36 months maturation is required.