Champagne likes to rest in the dark, at a cool and constant temperature. Stacked in heaps, hundreds, or thousands of bottles patiently wait for the blessings of time.
Count 18 months for a standard gross, and 3 to 4 years for a vintage or a prestigious vintage.
You have to know how to wait to taste the best!
As soon as picked, the grapes are transported to the farm, where they are immediately in a hurry. A hydraulic press is responsible for this operation, and hygiene constraints are better respected.
Each pressing is done per unit of measure of 4000 kg of grapes. In Champagne, we call it a "marc".
The specifications of the union mention that each marc gives 2500 liters of juice (also called "must")
During the harvest, the holding of a press book is mandatory. Each marc is thus identified.
For reasons of hygiene, the tanks are all made of stainless steel. The freshly pressed must goes directly to the vat. Each vat is characteristic of a terroir, a vine (young or old).
The tanks are thermo-regulated by coils, which allows a precise control of the fermentation temperatures.
When the alcoholic and malolactic fermentations are finished, it will then be easy to make the assemblies, according to the desired cuvée.
The tanks are emptied during bottling, usually in the spring. Then, a last fermentation will take place inside the bottle. The ferments added during the draw will produce carbon dioxide: these are the fine bubbles in your glass, and make Champagne a magical wine.
Thank you Mr. Dom Pérignon!