Beyond Bubbles: The Essence of Champagne
Champagne is luxury, prestige, glamour, celebration, and romance, both art and science, symbol, dream and reality. Mysteries and physical properties are hidden before secrets are released with effervescence to shine and sparkle.
Champagne is a complex extract of history, geography, geology, climate, and people from a unique place concentrated into the leading world reference for sparkling wines. The intrinsic nature of Champagne before, with, and beyond the bubbles is a wine.
Champagne is made from the most expensive grapes in the world, and represents ten percent of the world’s sparkling wines. Champagne has inherent hierarchies of quality, commercial and aesthetic approaches to style, design, packaging and marketing, from everyday to special occasions based on price, style and rarity.
Beyond place: the essence of nature. Champagne balances on a tightrope risking extreme northern marginal wine growing conditions over unique chalk and limestone soils. The region has ambitious sustainable viticulture objectives.
Beyond varieties: the essence of alchemy. The three principal varieties Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier are blended or made into single variety Blanc de Blancs or Blanc de Noirs Champagne styles.
Beyond style: the essence of balance. Historically based on the art of blending different vineyards, varieties and vintage, Champagne is extracted from the vineyards by growers, made from grapes into still wines then blended by cellar masters, and transformed by the second fermentation in bottle into one million magical bubbles in your glass. Champagne blends are famed for being greater than their parts. The variables are probably infinite – the proportions of varieties, crus, reserve wines, oak or stainless steel, malolactic fermentation, and maturation time. Champagne makers have to predict the future.
Beyond brut: the essence of cuvées. While non vintage represents the most popular Champagne consumed, Rosé is still growing, and Vintage offers the opportunity for exploration, education and to understand the complexity of Champagne. Prestige cuvées allow us all to dream.
Beyond regions: the essence of terroir. The Montagne de Reims expresses the rich fruit, power, elegant depth, backbone and depth of Pinot Noir. The Vallée de la Marne where Pinot Meunier reigns, offers fruity characters in a young blend or savoury characteristics with age. The Côte des Blancs gives fresh, intense and direct, mineral characters of Chardonnay when young, with the elegance, finesse and potential to age. The Côte des Bar supplies one fifth of the total production of Champagne with fruity, ripe and rich Pinot Noir additions to non-vintage blends.
Beyond origin: the essence of protection. Champagne only comes from Champagne. The Comité Champagne promotes, protects and defends the brand and image of Champagne as one appellation, to distinguish terroir, heritage, quality and reputation in the international market.
Beyond image: the essence of promotion. The Formula 1 podium and the polo, a contemporary art fair or a fashion parade, the ballet or birth of a baby, Champagne is always present. Although covering only 0.4% of the world vineyard area, over 330 million bottles of Champagne are sold each year in nearly 200 countries.
Beyond time: the essence of myths. Champagne did not discover bubbles and historically bubbles were avoided and considered a fault. Bubbles are now a timeless pleasure of Champagne. Winemaking methods and styles continue to change, with trends of low dosage, rosé and use of oak appealing to different audiences. Contemporary labels and packaging, new generations of Growers making and bottling under their own names, and single vineyard, sustainable and terroir Champagnes continue to trend.
Beyond the party: the essence of taste. With imagination and creativity, you can create the occasion to drink Champagne, any time of any day. Framed with appropriate tulip flutes or wine glasses to express and release aromas, Champagne is a modern independent wine and a perfect gastronomic partner with styles than can accompany each course throughout a meal.
Beyond other bubbles: the essence of Champagne. Champagne is the number one wine export for France, and 41% by value and 13% by volume of world consumption of sparkling wine, despite lower priced sparkling wines. Champagne is the most elegant, refined and sophisticated of all bubbles – in essence, beyond compare.