How to make Champagne

Read here if you want to learn how to make Champagne. 

What grapes do you use for Champagne?

There are 3 main grapes that are used for Champagne, it is Chardonnay, Pinot Noir & Pinot Meunier. For every brand the mix is different and it could also depend on the kind of Champagne. Some Champagne kinds can only use one grape, for instance Blanc de Blancs which is a Champagne that is made from only Chardonnay grapes, which is a white grape. That is why it's called Blanc de Blancs. Blanc means white, so essentially it means white from whites. That makes sence because the Champagne is "white" and it is made from white grapes, like the grapes on the picture above.


Chardonnay is a white grape that is used to make white wine which is also used for Champagne. Of course the grape has to come from the Champagne district in France to be qualified for use in Champagne. This grape is the third most planted grape, but it is the least planted grape variety in Champagne, with just over 25,000 acres in total. In fact, Chardonnay-based Champagnes makes up less than 5% of the all Champagne. Chardonnay has a amazing ability to withstand a lot of different weather which is necessary because the climate in north of France can have cold seasons. This grape is originally from France and it has a beautiful green skin and leaves some of purest white wine with notes of: melon, pear, apple and peach.

Is used for: Blanc de Blancs, Rosé Champagne and also used in all levels of sweetness of Champagne.

Is NOT used for: Noir de Noirs, Blanc de Noirs.

Pinot Noir

This grape is very well known in Champagne making and also in many other wines, but that is when it is used for red wine as it is a red grape. In Champagne there are over 32,000 acres of Pinot Noir producing grape fields. 

Is used for: Blanc de Noirs, Noir de Noirs and also used in all levels of sweetnes of Champagne.

Is NOT used for: Blanc de Blancs

Pinot Meunier

This grape is historically known as a blending grape to blend Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. In recent years Pinot Meunier has risen in popularity and is now seen more on its own with 100% Meunier Champagnes being produced more than ever before. Pinot meunier is a red grape and there are around 26,000 acres of Pinot Meunier in Champagne, which makes it the second most used grape, just a little over Chardonnay. 

Is used for: Blanc de Noirs, Noir de Noirs and also used in all levels of sweetnes of Champagne.

Is NOT used for: Blanc de Blancs

Methode Champenoise

This is the original method of making Champagne and it is the only way that you are allowed to make sparkling wine if you want it to be labbeled as "Champagne". The "Methode Champenoise" (The Champagne method) is known all over the world as the method of making the best quality sparkling wine, and quality takes time. This also means that this is the most resource and time consuming method. Most of the work with Champagne has to be done by hand which requires many workers for picking grapes and riddling the bottles.

The Champagne method consisting of 2 fermentations.

(1)The first fermentation takes place right after squeezing the grapes. The first fermentation is in big tanks, either in a steel tank or in wood. The method that is used mostly is metal tanks. In the first fermentation there is added natural yeast in order to produce alcohol which comes from the yeast eating the natural sugar from the grapes. After and while the first fermentation takes place the wine is measured for taste and potency. After taking that to consideration they will blend the wine to create the wanted taste and potency.

(2)The second fermentation takes place in the bottle, here they put the wine in a bottle where the last alcohol will be made, and as the alcohol is made it will release Carbon dioxid (CO2) which will be trapped in the bottle and that creates the bubbles in the Champagne. All Champagne must spend at least 15 months in the bottle before being released to the public. Before releasing the bottles it is now necessary to remove the yeast from the bottles, that is done by riddling and disgorging the bottle. As time goes the bottles must be turned so the yeast ends in the top of the bottle, when the yeast is in the top of the bottle it will be frozen and almost exploded out of the bottle. Click here to learn more about riddling.

When the yeast is out they smell the Champagne for any faults, then they will add a dosage (sugar) to the Champagne and then they put a new corc in and put a label on the bottle, and now its ready for you to drink. Cheers and remeber to check out our Champagne accesories: 

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