Beginners guide to Champagne

27th June 2015


Love the taste of Champagne and want to know a little more about what it all means?

Champagne is a name exclusively used for sparkling wine produced in the Champagne region in the north-east of France. You may have heard of Reims and Épernay, the two most popular towns and the commercial centres of the region (and amazing places to visit!).

To use the ‘Champagne’ label, the winemakers must follow a comprehensive set of rules. It must be made using the Méthode Champenoise, sometimes called methode traditionelle (traditional method) which, among other things, means the wine goes through a secondary fermentation.

Sometimes, you’ll see a Champagne labelled Millésime – this word means “vintage” in French and is used for years where harvests were particularly exceptional.

The grapes varieties used in Champagne are Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay.


Blanc de Blancs: Literally “white of white”, these Champagnes are made from 100% Chardonnay, a white grape.

Blanc de Noir: Made with a blend of dark grapes, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir.

Rose: Blended with all 3 grape varieties.

Try different styles and blends to see which Champagnes suit your taste.

Many factors determine whether a harvest will be good or not. The quality of the terrior (from French terre, meaning “‘land”) which includes the climate, the properties of the soil and the geography, will all effect the outcome of a Champagne.

Although sparkling wine was around long before, the oldest established Champagne house is Ruinart, founded in 1729 and still in operation today.

There is so much to know about Champagne, it’s an exciting world to enter. Browse the website and check out our magazine – if you have any questions or want to more, we’d love to help.

Glass of Bubbly

Executive editor of news content for the website Please enjoy the articles that we share - We hope you find our love for Champagne & Sparkling Wines both interesting and educational.