It may comes as little surprise to learn this…but the process of making Champagne is a rather complicated and involved one to say the least. Winemakers have been honing their skills and techniques to a fine art over the centuries since Champagne first came to be, resulting in a modern product of the highest quality and purity eve known.
While there may have been a number of updates, modifications and improvement made along the way with regard to purity and health issues, the actual overall method of production and theory behind what makes the very best Champagne remains the same today as the time of its original conception.
Needless to say, the following is therefore not a comprehensive guide, but instead an introduction to the key points of the Champagne making process.
All Champagne varieties initially begin their lives as standard wine, therefore the very first step of the process is to create the wine of quality high enough for Champagne. The most common grape varieties used for the creation of Champagne are Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir, which are put through the standard fermentation process either alone or as a blend.
Once the base wine itself has been created, one of the modern approaches suggests the adding of molasses to the mixture, though such is frowned upon in the strongest possible sense by those following the traditional approach to the letter.
The traditional process forbids the use of molasses, while also requiring a second fermentation process to create bubbles within the bottle and reduce impurity.
Following such a process, the newly crafted Champagne is sealed and matured for a minimum of around 15 months before being shipped for sale all around the world.
Of course, most Champagne could certainly be sold and consumed long before such an age, but the added depth the aging process brings is something the very best producers consider fundamentally compulsory rather than optional.
Combinations of grape varieties result in Champagnes of various quality levels and indeed colors, such as the always popular rose or ‘pink’ variety.
In essence, the two most difficult parts of the Champagne making process are the rearing of grapes of a high enough quality and the patience required to wait for the marvelous creation to reach its peak.
Needless to say, while there is no specific reason preventing any amateur from having a go at the process them selves, it is always worth bearing in mind that modern Champagne is the culmination of centuries of refinement and tireless devotion, therefore do not be too disappointed if your first attempt does not exactly take the world by storm!