Types of Champagne

The champagne requires processes Fields and processed to move from the vineyard to our glass. According to the different grapes used, added sugar and procedures for the production wines are also very different from each other although all rated Champagne. Below is a brief guide to help guide you in choosing the type closest to your tastes.

Non Vintage and Vintage

A first distinction that it is possible for the champagne is one of the non vintage wines (vintage or not) and the vintage. The first are processed from grapes of different vintages, the latter are produced using grapes from a single vintage, this applies to all the vintage wines, not just the champagne. The non vintage wine is about 80% of the production of champagne. This is definitely unique among the wines with denomination of origin (in French "Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée" AOC). The main motivation is the need to ensure consistent quality every year. Since the region of Champagne is very north is not always the quality of the vintage is suitable for the production of a quality wine vintage, which is why most of the champagne base wines from different vintages contains. Generalizing, we can say that the vintage is considered a wine that will hold more aging, while the non vintage is a wine to drink young, usually within a couple of years from commercialization. The different grapes

The specification of Champagne allows the use of 7 different varieties:

  • Chardonnay
  • Pinot Noir
  • Pinot Meunier
  • Arbanne
  • Pinot Blanc
  • Petit Meslier
  • Fromentau

In fact, 99.7% of the champagne is produced with the first three, the last four are maintained by some small producers for production greatly reduced.

The assembly

Champagne is primarily a wine assembly: after the harvest produces still wines, wine base, which are then stored separately. They keep separate the different grape varieties, but usually also held separate vineyards or plots (different parts of the same vineyard). In this way, the chef de cave will have a perfect palette of aromas and flavors with which to settle the future of the cuvée champagne. The assembly "Trois Cépages"

The champagne is produced and consumed several bottles of all is the one made ​​up of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier in roughly equal parts. This assembly is used by major fashion houses for their brut "basic" products in millions of bottles. The presence of Pinot Noir provides body and structure, the Chardonnay adds freshness and finesse, Pinot Meunier gives flavor and fruit. The presence of Pinot Meunier in particular allows you to have a wine ready to drink in less time and also optimize some technical and organizational issues given the different aging times than the other two varieties.

Blanc de Blancs

This Champagne is produced exclusively with Chardonnay grapes, or other white grapes, usually have champagne taste more fruity and delicate. Suitable as an aperitif or with shellfish.

Blanc de Noirs

This champagne is assembled exclusively from grapes of Pinot Noir and Meunier. With a dry taste and decided it can match well with white meats and tasty food.


The pink champagne can get their color by soaking or by adding the basic cuvée wine red or pink. With the maceration of the must Pinot Noir or Meunier remains in contact with the skins a day or two, long enough for the red skin color must.


The assay indicates the amount of sugar present in the champagne, which is expressed in grams of sugar per liter. Note that originally the champagne was a very sweet wine, like most of the wines in vogue in 1700 to tell the truth, with 50/60 grams of sugar per liter, which is well suited to accompany desserts. E 'remained to this day this tradition, but the dosage brut, the most popular to this day, does not contain more than 12 g / L because it makes it unpleasant combined with the sweet, but more suitable for the whole meal.

Below is the table with the classification of champagne depending on dosage:

Dosage g / L Definition Pairings 0-2 Nature, Pas Dosé, Zero Very dry and decided, for starters or appetizers 3-6 Extra Brut Very dry and strong, for starters or appetizers, raw fish, delicate first 7-12 Brut the classic product suitable as an aperitif, but also with fish dishes and white meats 13-17 Extra Dry Sweet and fruity for a drink, a fine meal Sec 18-32 to end a meal with desserts not too sweet, foie gras 33-50 Demi-Sec For dessert, fruit salads, pastries 50 and over Doux For dessert much sweets, cakes leavened dough

the Cru

The Cru for French wine is the area of origin and can identify the area or the single vineyard. In the case of champagne Cru means the village that owns the vineyard. Each village in the Champagne region has a value expressed in cents, which summarizes the quality of the grapes produced. He then called Premier Cru (43 of 264 villages) champagnes whose grapes come from vineyards with scores from 80% to 99%, while defining Grand Cru (17 villages out of 264) than exclusively from grapes with 100%.

The Clos

The Clos vineyards are surrounded by protective walls. A champagne "clos" is produced exclusively from grapes harvested within these vineyards. In the region there are five: Clos des Goisses in Mareuil-sur-Ay (Champagne Philiponnat), Clos du Moulin (Champagne Cattier) in Chigny-les-Roses, Clos du Mesnil (Krug Champagne in Le Mesnil), Clos Saint-Jacques and Clos des Terres Chaudes (Bollinger in Ay).