Definition - What does Champagne mean?

In the context of wine styles, Champagne is a sparkling wine made in the Champagne Region of France. Champagne is made under the regulations of the Comite Interprofessional du vin de Champagne (CIVC) and the Appellation d’Origine Controlee (AOC), which regulate the types and percentages of grapes used to make the wine as well as the way the Champagne is made. While sparkling wines are made all over the world, only sparkling wines produced in the Champagne region that are made according to the regulations of the CIVC and AOC can be called Champagne.

WineFrog explains Champagne

Champagne is the legally protected name of sparkling wine, made in France using French grapes and specific methods to make the wine. Champagne is made with a combination of Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir grapes, depending on the vintage, wines from multiple vintages can be blended, or wines from a single vintage can be blended. Under the regulations of the CIVC, Champagne is made from grapes grown in specific areas of the region, and the entire process of the winemaking is regulated from where the grapes are grown, how they are pruned, to how they are crushed, fermented and made into sparkling wine. The traditional method used to make Champagne is the Champagne Method (Methode Champenoise), which is a second alcoholic fermentation in the bottle with added yeast and sugar and is aged for a minimum of 1 1/2 years for single vintage wines and 3 years for multiple vintage wines to achieve and develop optimal flavor.

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