Champagne production is one of the most highly-regulated in all of the wine world, with each bottle receiving a registration number for its producer issued by the region's governing body, and each label receiving a designation code that represents how the wine was made. What Champagne label code signifies that a Champagne was produced independently by an individual estate / grape grower?
Continuing our Champagne theme this month, many wine lovers know that Champagne is often a blend of different grape varieties, but fewer know that it is usually blended across vintages in order to produce a "house" style with a consistent taste profile year to year. The exception to the blended vintages is, of course, vintage-dated Champagne, which is produced in exceptional years only from grapes harvested during that vintage. What percentage of total Champagne production is vintage-dated?
Many of you were ringing in the new year with Champagne, but do you know who might have invented sparkling wine, in terms of deliberately trying to make still wines get fizzy? It almost certainly wasn't Champagne icon Dom Perignon, who likely tried to prevent his still wines from fermenting for a second time in their bottles, thus causing the bubbly action (and exploding a not-insignificant number of those bottles!). According to award-winning wine writer Tom Stevenson, evidence suggests which country may have been the inventors of sparkling wine?