What Grapes go in Champagne?
30th September 2020
There are three main grape varieties that can be used in the production of Champagne. They were found to offer the required qualities of a good balance of sugar and acidity to complement the effervescence and a rich, subtle taste.
A white grape that adds freshness, elegance and finesse. It is widely grown in the Côte des Blancs and is used to make Blanc de Blancs Champagne.
A black grape that adds body, structure and a complexity of flavours. Pinot Noir is the most widespread grape variety in Champagne. It is the predominant grape variety on the Montagne de Reims and the Côte des Bar.
A black grape that adds fruitiness and floral aromas. This grape is favoured in the Marne Valley.
There are a few other grapes which are permitted to be used in Champagne, but these are rarely used: Pinot Gris, Petit Meslier, Arbanne and Pinot Blanc.
Each harvest is different in terms of grape ripeness, potential alcohol levels and natural acidity so picking the right moment to harvest is essential. Manual picking remains the tradition in Champagne and is the same today as it was in the 18th Century.
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