Definition - What does Methode Champenoise mean?
Méthode champenoise is the process by which carbon dioxide (CO2) gas is formed in Champagne, thus creating bubbles. The process begins in bottles of still wine, where yeast is added along with sugar. This creates a secondary fermentation that creates the CO2. In France, these are the steps required by law in the process of crafting AOC Champagne from the Champagne region.
WineFrog explains Methode Champenoise
Méthode champenoise is the name for the processes and stages which give the signature "bubble" to authentic Champagne.
After the still wines are blended, the wine is bottled. To initiate the secondary fermentation, which will form the CO2 gas in the wine, and thus, the bubbles; yeast is added along with a small amount of sugar or grape juice concentrate. The bottles are then topped with crown caps and cellared. The process continues by aging the wine in the bottles and allowing the yeast to arrive at the top of the bottle via remuage. Performed by a trained employee, the person turns each bottle by hand a quarter turn and slowly increases the angle towards the top of the bottle. After a minimum of 1 1/2 years of aging, the bottles with the yeast in the neck are taken to the bottling line where the neck is flash frozen to disgorge the yeast. They are then corked and caged.
This entire process is called méthode champenoise.