The development of the Champagne is a complex art that requires meticulous care winemaker transmitted from generation to generation. Each step must be conducted with the utmost care to lead to the creation of the world's most famous wine.
They take place in September or October, depending on the time of flowering and the development of ripeness. To reflect closer to the effective maturity of the grapes in each vintage, harvest dates are determined by village.
In Champagne, the grapes are hand must not damage the berries that must arrive intact at pressing.
Harvesting is carried out to the press where the grapes are weighed and grouped in batches of 4000 kg of the same vintage and same variety; lot which is the load - or marc - the traditional Champagne press.
Four presses are made by pressing to obtain 25.5 20.5 hectoliters of must hl hl of wines and 5 sizes.
Between each press, roll up is carried out by bringing the grapes to the press center to form the cake. The duration of a pressing cycle is 3 to 4 hours.
Producing a white wine from black grapes - which represent two-thirds of the vine - is made possible by a slow pressing, allowing rapid flow of juice.
The pigments in the skin of red grapes do not have the time to color the wort flowing from the press.
Wort each parcel or group of parcels is carefully collected and transferred to settling tanks to allow the particles to settle seed and soil. It is then placed in tanks, sometimes in drums, which starts its first fermentation.
For about two weeks, the sugar content in the grapes will turn into alcohol by the action of yeasts related to natural fermentation. The wines are then qualified as still wines or light wine, as opposed to sparkling wines they are not yet.
In the spring, the winemaker brings itself sensory memory, talent and passion, and around him a small team. Thus escorted, it performs the subtle alchemy of the assembly. This is a work of art, where it is "to unite" up to ten different wines: light wines of the year and reserve wines of exceptional quality. Finding the right taste, extremely precise balance which will give a unique Champagne Vigneron, yet stylish, elegant, is an art. The art of sign Champagne de Vigneron.
Each year, a portion of the harvest is set aside to enter the assembly of the following years. With these so-called reserve wines, the winemaker is able to sustain the taste and style of the Champagne, not only representative of its terroir but also his personality. Once assembled, Champagne is bottled.
The draw (set of wine bottle secondary fermentation) can be made before 1 January following the harvest.
A bottling before the opening with a metal capsule, the addition of a small amount of liquor made of wine, sugar and selected yeasts - tirage liqueur - promotes the start and the second fermentation. Gradually, the wine becomes sparkling and filing forms: the fermentation.
The wine can then aging on lees in the cellars guaranteeing quiet, dark, constant temperature and humidity.
The minimum aging time after bottling is 15 months for gross and 3 years for vintages.
After aging on lees, the wine became effervescent, contains a natural deposit which must be extracted without emptying the bottle contents.
The bottles are placed on a pedestal and stirred by a gradual incline and more important, to drag the deposit towards the neck.
They are then on the desk, on pointe.
Then the neck was immersed in a brine bath at -17 ° C for freezing the deposit. The bottle is then raised, uncapped and, under pressure from the excitement it contains the block of ice trapping the deposit is exhausted: the bleeding.
The corresponding volume is replaced by an expedition of wine and sugar liquor, the proportion varies according to the type of Champagne that is desired:
brut nature: 0-3 grams of sugar per liter
Extra Brut: 0-6 grams of sugar per liter
Gross: 5 to 12 grams of sugar per liter
extra dry: 12 to 17 grams of sugar per liter
Dry: 17-32 grams of sugar per liter
Semi-dry: 32 to 50 grams of sugar per liter
Sweet: More than 50 grams of sugar per liter
The bottle is then closed by a cork stopper comprising three parts, one in contact with the wine caller mirror.
Of exceptional quality to contain the pressure, it is held by a wire cage of twisted wire and must carry the word "Champagne".
After another stay in the cellar, which can vary from two weeks to several months to allow a perfect homogeneity of its content, the bottle is wearing a collar, capsule and wire cage housing cap and a label bearing the mandatory information grouped in the same visual field mention the Name, type of wine, an indication of the brand, professional registration ...
The member of "Champagnes de Vignerons" wineries are recognizable by RM, RC, SR and CM terms on the label.