Despite the fact that the planting of red varieties in Champagne is more than 70 percent, there is no red champagne, only white and pink.
The initial stage of vinification of red varieties for white wines results in “white”.
The flesh of the red pinot is not colored, so the white juice after pressing is separated from the skin, which can stain it, and it makes white wine.
For production pink champagne two methods are allowed.
In the first case, the wort is drawn on the pulp (grape pulp) for a short time, during which the skin of the grapes has time only to slightly dye the wine.
In the second case, a small amount of red wine is added to the white wine.
Technology The production of champagne has not changed much over the years, manual labor is still used in the cellars.
It all starts with the traditional vinification (fermentation of grape juice), which results in a dry wine — wine material. The most important qualities for such a wine are the acidity and freshness of the bouquet, which is successfully achieved in the cool climate of Champagne.
After harvesting, most of the wines are immediately launched into production.
The best wines remain in reserve, they are used in the coming years.
To create champagne wines are selected, which together will form the desired bouquet.
Process itself champagne (it is also called methode champenoise — “champagne method” of wine production) consists of several stages: circulation, remuage, disgorging, dosage.
Circulation — the first stage of the champagne process. Prepared Wine Mix (cuvee) is placed in a thick-walled bottle that can withstand high internal pressure.
The wine is also added to the so-called circulation liqueur consisting of yeast, sugar and reserve wines, after which the bottle is sealed tightly and placed in the cellar. The draw liqueur causes re-fermentation in wine, during which carbon dioxide is emitted; not finding a way out, he saturates the wine and makes it sparkling. After fermentation, the yeast precipitates, remaining on the wall of the horizontal bottle.
Extract of wine on the lees plays an important role in the formation of a bouquet of champagne, adding to it shades of sweet pastries, nuts, complicating and deepening it. The duration of exposure of champagne varies from one year to 4–5 years or more.
Aged champagne has an amazingly rich taste.
Remuage. When the period of exposure comes to an end, the next stage begins — remuage. His goal is to prepare the withdrawal from the sediment.
Bottles are placed horizontally in special lecterns.
The cellar specialists periodically bypass the stands, shaking, turning and slightly tilting down each bottle.
Gradually, the sediment slides down from the walls of the bottle to the neck and accumulates on the cork, and the bottle itself is set upside down.
Manual repairing is practiced in small farms, while large houses use special containers that shake and turn up to a thousand bottles at a time.
Degorzhezh. Decomposition is necessary to remove sediment from the bottle.
Once this process was especially difficult. The master degortorist, with a firm hand and a quick reaction, able to completely rid the champagne of sediment and lose a minimum of wine, was worth its weight in gold.
Today, the process has been improved — at large productions, the disgorging is carried out with the help of machines.
The bottle neck with the sediment freezes, and when the bottle opens, the “dirty” ice plug is pushed out under pressure.
Dosage. After the sediment is removed, a mixture of sugar and wine is added to the bottle.
Such an operation is called dosage.
If the champagne is zero in sugar (brut nature), then the bottle is added with the same wine. Dose — the last stage of the production of champagne.
After it, the bottle is sealed with a special cork in the form of a mushroom, which is fixed with wire.
Before going on sale champagne is aged in bottles for several months.
For champagne, only three grape varieties are used — red pinot noir and pinot mene and white.