Champagne is a popular sparkling white wine of good quality. It is especially served at festive occasions. Champagne is already being produced for centuries, but it was not much wanted because of its bubbles. It became a popular drink since 1688. The grape variety that is used for champagne is the Pinot Noir. This type of grape has a dark skin, but its juice is white. It is important that the skin does not come in contact with the juice to avoid colouring.
|Production process of champagne|
|Aging and second fermentation|
|Bottling and third fermentation|
fermentation of both pressings happen the same way. In the first place a culture is added, in this case a culture with saccharmonyces, a yeast that ferments the sugars of the grape itself into alcohol, carbon dioxide (the well-known bubbles) and aromas. The carbon dioxide remains in the champagne by letting the fermentation take place in closed space. The first fermentation that the juice goes through at a temperature of 18 to 20°C takes several weeks. After this first fermentation the two pressings are mixed until the desired taste is obtained.
sugar additions is added. This addition consists of a mixture of saccharose with champagne, which is called liquer de tirage. Later in the process another sugar addition is added; the total percentage of the added sugars determines the sweetness of the champagne. The totality of the added percentage of sugar is between the 0,5 and 5%. The bottles are closed with a cork in order that the produced carbon dioxide does not escape. Due to the fermentation there is a lot of pressure on the bottles. This pressure is comparable with the pressure on a tire of a bus.
During the aging the bottles are laid horizontally for the largest part of the maturation. The bottles are turned each day 1/8 turn to avoid the influence of dead yeasts on the fermentation process. At the end of the fermentation period the bottles are to mature for a short time in a vertical position so that the sediment comes in the neck of the bottle against the cork.
freezing liquid. The champagne and the sediment that are in the neck of the bottle are frozen in a fast way. The cork is removed cautiously after which the frozen part can be removed.
Afterwards, the champagne is ready to be bottled, labeled and packed. As with other alcoholic beverages no storage life is given.