The Mag

What is the composition of champagne?


The answer could be simple, champagne is made of grapes. But the different transformations that punctuate the champagne-making process completely change its composition, just like time. A metamorphosis that began in the Champagne region and ends in a bottle of champagne.

The grape,
the first noble material of champagne

But not just any grape, the grapes grown in the chalky soil of the Marne valley produce three major varieties: pinot noir (black grape), pinot meunier (black grape), and chardonnay (white grape).

All three represent more than 99% of the Champagne vineyard. They are grown in the 4 main regions of the Champagne region: The Montagne de Reims, the Côte des Blancs, the Marne Valley and the Côte des Bar. Chardonnay is produced everywhere in Champagne but the most famous is located on the Côte des Blancs. There are also forgotten varieties that are slowly coming back, such as Arbane, Petit Meslier, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris.

composition of champagne

Carbon dioxide,
it has to sparkle!

Last but not least, there is another ingredient in the composition of champagne: carbon dioxide, the source of bubbles and sparkle. It is the Champagne method that allowed the transformation of “still” wines, such as white wine, to become sparkling wines.

After harvesting and pressing, the grapes undergo a first fermentation in stainless steel tanks and sometimes in barrels. Under the action of yeast, the sugars in the juice are transformed into alcohol and carbon dioxide. The future champagne is then bottled where it benefits from a rest period in the cellars. This is when living organisms convert sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide.

12.5° degrees of alcohol
on the thermometer

Therefore, champagne also contains alcohol, about 12.5°. Its mission is to give body and facilitate its conservation through time. It consists mainly of ethanol.

Its presence adds a nice mellowness to the champagne. Another precision, the degree of alcohol is identical or almost identical in all the champagnes, whether they are Bruts or Demi-secs.

but an average of 80 calories per flute

Another essential ingredient in champagne is sugar. It is naturally present in the grapes, but is used in small quantities in the liqueur de tirage and the liqueur de dosage. The liqueur de tirage is composed of still wine, sugar and yeast selected to activate the prise de mousse (fermentation in the bottle).

The liqueur de dosage is added after disgorging (the removal of sediment from the neck of the bottle). Composed of wine and sugar, it will determine the type of wine we want to obtain, from the sweetest to the least sweet, from theExtra brutto the Brut and the Demi-sec.

Beyond what it is made of, champagne corresponds to a privileged moment of tasting. It is enough to admire its colour on the surface of the glass to understand that this exceptional product will always retain a great deal of mystery.

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