What comes to your mind when you hear the word “Champagne”?
Champagne = sparkling wine made from 3 grapes of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir & Meunier in the northern part of France.
I used to think this way. But, today, the picture I have inside my head is pretty close to what you see in the illustration, plus a lot more that I couldn’t fit on a small piece of paper.
And this diversity that continues to change, expand & evolve like the power, energy & speed of a space shuttle going in the direction of the universe with unlimited possibility & potential makes Champagne one of the most exciting & dynamic places on the planet.
Bubbles & No Bubbles - Champagne is known for its sparkling wine. But we are starting to see more & more wines with no bubbles like Coteaux Champenois in the shades of red, white & pink, Rosé des Riceys from the southern tail of the region, sweet fortified wine of Ratafia & the distilled spirits of Marc/Fine de Champagne.
The Traditional 3 grapes of Champagne are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir & Meunier, but also permitted are Arbanne, Petit Meslier, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc & Voltis. Non-Vintage Champagne from big name brands we see often is generally made from a blend of 3 traditional grapes. Meanwhile, a handful of small, family-run, independent producers are experimenting with the non-traditional grapes, creating some exciting wines.
But why is this diversity thing happening?
There are combinations of many things like;
- Climate change
- Improvements in vineyards/cellars
- Better/open communication
- Product offering
- Farm to Table movement
- Educated consumers
Champagne Quiz Time
- What are the 3 main areas of the Champagne region?
- What are the 8 permitted grapes for the production of Champagne?
- What are the 3 grapes used to make cuvée BAM! by Champagne Tarlant?
Post your answers in the comments! The answers will be in the following week’s post.