Méthode Champenoise (Champagne Method)
This is a method for making Champagnes and some sparkling wines.
Still wines are blended (Cuveé, from the French term: “cuve” for “vat”) for Champagne. Cuveé is allowed to ferment from 2 weeks up to 5 months.
A bottling Dosage (spirits and sugar) and special yeasts are added and are immediately bottled and corked. This is the stage in which the wine produces additional alcohol and effervescence.
In this stage the bottles are placed on special racks called puprites. This places the bottles at a 45º with the cork pointed down. Every few days the bottles are given a slight shake and turn and dropped back into the puprites (eventually the angle is increased). The drop back into the rack causes a slight tap, pushing sediments toward the neck of the bottle. In about 6 to 8 weeks the position of the bottle is pointed straight down with sediment in the neck of the bottle.
The neck of the bottle is frozen and the cork is removed. The sediment and some sludge is dislodged.
Shipping dosage (dosage d’ expedition).
Cuveé and additional sugar is added. The bottle is corked, caged, and wrapped.