Why is Champagne so delicious? We can all agree that Champagne is a must for important life celebrations, achievements but also on regular occasions because it is so good and easy to appreciate. There is something about it that makes it unique and delicious but what?
The answer comes from the origin itself.
Champagne can only be made with grapes that come from the Champagne region in France.
Every other wine with bubbles made elsewhere is not a Champagne but a sparkling wine like in most New World wine countries or Prosecco in Italy or Cava in Spain. Champagne is ideally located in the east part of France, in the “Bassin Parisien” or Paris Basin and is the northern vineyard of France. Because of the rather cold weather, the grapes ripen slowly and to a certain degree, not fully. It brings higher acidity in the base wine and so it is more refreshing.
The Champagne vineyards are planted where there used to be a huge lake.
The “Bassin Parisien” millions of years ago used to be a huge lake that dried out and left a gold mine of shells in chalky soils. The vine roots are digging deep into the chalky soil in search of water and nutrients such as minerals. The rich amount of minerals taken by the roots influence the taste of Champagne with a characteristic chalky, mineral taste that is so unique.
Champagne cellars are the deepest and the biggest.
The chalky soil has another advantage, it allows the Champagne producers to dig deep cellars in order to mature their wine at a cold 10 to 12 degrees temperature for a long time. They can mature the Champagne on lees for 18 months to decades. The Champagne, with a high complexity at first becomes even more refined and enjoyable.
Champagne is rather low in alcohol.
The grapes don’t ripen easily which is a strength for the Champagne producer in order to keep a great acidity and get a lower alcohol level usually between 11% to 12.5%. It makes the Champagne easier to drink, subtle and teasing.
The Champagne winemaking process is very complex.
I won’t go into too much detail but the Champagne winemaking process is very long, complex and expensive. Mastering all the different steps of the winemaking makes Champagne the best. You can refer to our Pierre Paillard profile page for more details.
The differences in quality in Champagne are huge.
There is Champagne and there is amazing Champagne. Like in Burgundy, Champagne has a wine classification where Grand Cru classified villages are the best. If you come across one of these, it is a good sign but the producer remains the best reference. Now if you add both a great producer and Grand Cru grapes, you have officially reached heaven! There are only 17 little villages classified as Grand Cru and Bouzy is one of them. This is where our top Champagne producer Pierre Paillard has all his vineyards.
You can find our Champagne Pierre Paillard here.