From the first day of January after harvesting

Bottling and second fermentation

Tirage du vin de Champagne

When Champagne gains its fizz

Once blended, the wines are bottled. This is when they become sparkling, hence the name "prise de mousse", which literally means capturing the sparkle. This stage entails a second fermentation: it involves adding a so-called "liqueur de tirage", which is a mixture of still wine, sugar and yeast. The yeast will consume the sugar, releasing alcohol and effervescence, i.e. bubbles. It will also introduce new sensory characteristics into the wines.

The rules governing this stage are also clearly defined: bottling cannot take place before the first day of January following the harvests. What’s more, the wine cannot be transferred from one container to another: it will be sold in the bottle in which it underwent its second fermentation. The quality and solidity of the bottle are vital to ensure that this second fermentation occurs in optimal fashion.

At the end of this stage, the bottles are stored, in horizontal rows on their sides, ready for the next step: maturation.

 The fine bubbles that make Champagne what it is  The fine bubbles that make Champagne what it is