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Champagne wine

Sparkling wine of the Champagne region

The process of vinification of the famous
sparkling wines of Champagne is very complex.

In outline it is as follows: The grapes are pressed {black grapes mainly, but the skins, stalks, and pips are at once separated from the juice), then fermented in vats, and when the wine has become limpid in the winter it is racked, put into large casks, and thence transferred to bottles in the spring. The process of fermentation finishes in the bottle, the sugar remaining in the liquid being transformed into carbonic acid gas. Champagnes are liqueured by the
addition of a syrup where a sweet rather than a dry wine is demanded. The wines made for and shipped to England are generally dry (brut or nature).

Champagnes mature quickly, and are at their best after from eight to fifteen years. They are (unlike Burgundies and Clarets) known under
the name of the shippers. The best Champagnes come from the arrondisements of Rheims, Epernay, and Chalons.

In the making of Champagne, wines of different vineyards of the same vintage (often with a substantial addition of older wine) are blended together. It is for this reason that the finished wine is not known under a local name but by the name of the shipper.

A vintage Champagne is therefore rarely a vintage wine in the ordinary sense of a wine made solely from the grapes of one fine season. Champagne is rather made to a standard which each shipper carefully maintains for his reputation's sake. Among leading brands the following in the early 20th century may be named in alphabetical order:

Ayala & Cie, Ay.
Binet (Veuve), Fils & Cie, Rheims.
Bollinger, J., Ay.
Clicquot-Ponsardin (Veuve), Rheims.
Delbeck & Cie, Rheims.
Deutz & Geldermann, Ay.
Duminy & Cie, Ay.
Goulet (Veuve), Geo., & 'ii, Rheims.
Heidsieck & Cie (Monopole & Dry Monopole), Rheims.
Heidsieck, Charles, Rheims.
Irroy, E., & Cie, Rheims.
Krug & Cie, Rheims.
Lanson, Pere & Fils, Rheims.
Lemoine, J., Rilly-la-Montage, and Rheims.
Moet & Chandon, Epernay.
Montebello (Duc de), Marenil-sur-Ay.
Mumm, G. H., Rheims.
Perrier Jouet & Cie, Epernay.
Piper-Heidsieck, Rheims.
Pol Roger & Cie, Epernay.
Pommery & Greno, Rheims.
Roederer, Louis, Rheims.
Ruinart, Pere & Fils, Rheims.