HF 329 - Methode Champenoise

HF 329 Methode - Mthode Champenoise The"mthode champenoise used to make the sparkling wines of Champagne France is the most expensive and

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Méthode Champenoise The “méthode champenoise”, used to make the sparkling wines of Champagne, France, is the most expensive and complicated wine making process. The procedure of perfecting champagne is very labor intensive and risky which explains why there is no inexpensive Champagne that is made using the champagne method, or “méthode champenoise”. This method is so sacred and dignified that no other sparkling wine is allowed to use the name “Champagne” unless made from the Champagne region. In fact, throughout time, France has made sure that no other region in the world may use this classification through treaties such as The Treaty of Versailles (May 6, 1919), and other laws that have been made world wide confining this name strictly to the vineyards of Champagne, France. Champagne follows steps in the primary fermentation similar to white wine; however, more care is given to the cleanliness of equipment and purity of the must and also includes a second fermentation which gives champagne most of its flavor and CO2. Other characteristics that make champagne so special are the location where the grapes are grown, the only three grapes used in the process, climate of the Champagne region, and history of how this process started. All of these factors are why Champagne is so expensive to make, sell, and why the demand for Champagne is exponentially growing. The word champagne is of Latin origin and got its name around the same time when Julius Caesar’s Roman legions arrived unexpectedly 90 miles northeast of Paris. First called a campus by Caesar’s men, the word became less elegantly known as campania and finally became Champagne. Some say that during the mid-sixteenth
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century a blind Benedictine monk named Dom Pérignon is the person responsible for discovering the wine, champagne. He perfected the technique for its production by blending different wines to try and achieve a consistent and harmonious balance. Also, Pérignon was the first to use the bark of the cork tree as a stopper for Champagne bottles because he realized it retains the CO2 within the wine for longer periods of time. Dom Pérignon started the new technique by tasting each wine from each vineyard and knew that some wines were richer and fuller bodied while others had more finesse. Instead of drinking them separately, he decided to blend different wines together that complemented each other and provide a more balanced taste. Another innovator of this technique was a widow by the name of Clicquot. In the early 19 th century, she came up with an evolutionary way to clean the wine of its sediment without losing any CO2. She invented a wooden desk that had holes which the bottles of wine would be placed upside down in. Everyday, her cellar man would gently shake and twist each bottle until all the sediment
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This essay was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course SHA HF 329 taught by Professor Murray during the Spring '08 term at BU.

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HF 329 Methode - Mthode Champenoise The"mthode champenoise used to make the sparkling wines of Champagne France is the most expensive and

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