Champagne is the epitome of top-class sparkling wine worldwide. The precious geranium always comes from a region in France. Learn more about the unique, sparkling drink that will not only delight crowned heads, poets, writers, gourmets or night owls.
The origin of the champagne
Champagne is always from France. Its region of origin, the "Champagne", is located about 150 km northeast of Paris. Reims, the coronation city of the French kings, is the official capital of Champagne. Here and in Epernay are the (chalk) - cellars of many champagne houses.
The vineyard of Champagne is limited by law from 1927 to 34, 000 ha. The production volume is about 240 million bottles (1/1 = 0.75 l) per year. Only about 35% of champagne is marketed abroad. The French themselves are the biggest champagne connoisseurs.
The peculiarities of champagne
Varieties and soil: In Champagne, only grape harvesting is allowed by hand. Only the Burgundy grape varieties, the red "Pinot Noir" (Pinot Noir) and the red "Pinot Meunier" (black Riesling) as well as the white "Chardonnay" may be used to make champagnes. Although three quarters of the vineyards are planted with red varieties, champagne is basically "light-colored", that is, it is in the color "white", to a lesser extent "rose", but never "red".
The predominant soils in the Champagne region are chalk soils, which on the one hand give the champagne abundance and on the other serve as excellent wine deposits. The cooler, temperate climate on the northern border of viticulture means that the base wines have a pleasant, fresh acidity.
Champagne is not just a sparkling wine from a particular region of origin. He is also subject to fixed production rules. When pressing grapes, only the first pressing (2050 liters of 4000 kg of grapes) of champagne may be used to optimize the purity of the wine. Champagne "ripens" in the second fermentation exclusively in the bottle. He has to mature for at least a year by law, or three years for vintage champagne. This slow ripening also causes the sparkling wine of Champagne.
The method "Champenoise" also includes shaking the bottle ("Remuage") so that the yeast depot gets into the neck of the bottle. After an ice bath this is removed ("Degorgement"). The shipping dosage determines the flavor of the champagne. Finally, it is provided with a natural cork with a wire frame ("Agraffe").
Champagne should not be stored for long. Drink it cool. At 7 to 9 degrees Celsius, it best unfolds its scent and taste. Use a champagne cooler. Tall, tulip-shaped champagne glasses increase the enjoyment. Try the different champagnes, especially as a food companion. Remember: Champagne is the only drink that fits as an aperitif, to all dishes and as a digestive.