Vintage champagne refers to a specific type of champagne that is made from grapes harvested in a single specified year, which is considered a particularly good year for grape quality. The term "vintage" is used to distinguish these champagnes from non-vintage champagnes, which are typically blends of wines from multiple years.
In order to be labeled as a vintage champagne, strict regulations must be followed. These regulations vary depending on the country and the specific appellation, but generally, vintage champagnes must meet certain criteria. For example, in the Champagne region of France, vintage champagne must be made from grapes harvested in a single year, with a minimum aging period of three years in the bottle.
Vintage champagnes are often considered to be of higher quality and complexity compared to non-vintage champagnes. This is because the grapes used in a particular vintage are believed to express the unique characteristics of that specific year's growing conditions. Winemakers carefully select the best grapes from that year to create a champagne that reflects the nuances of that particular harvest.
Vintage champagnes are typically produced in smaller quantities and are often more expensive than non-vintage champagnes. They are sought after by wine enthusiasts and collectors due to their distinctive qualities and the potential for aging and development in the bottle.