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Remuage dans une cave de Champagne

Easing the sediment downwards 

The aim of riddling, or remuage, is to loosen the sediment so that it collects in the bottle neck. This age-old process involves rotating the bottle in small increments while gradually tilting it so that it is "neck-down" ("sur pointe"). In this way, the sediment will slide down into the bottle neck.

This job can be done by hand: the bottles are placed on wooden pupitres (riddling racks), which the "bottle turner" rotates by an 1/8 or a 1/4 turn at a time, with a chalk mark on the bottom of the bottle for reference. Manual remuage takes 4-6 weeks and involves on average 25 turns per bottle. A professional "remueur" (bottle turner) can handle about 40,000 bottles a day!

These days, riddling is usually automated. Automated remuage uses a machine called a Automated riddling machine that can process metal racks containing 500 bottles in a single operation. They operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and take a fraction of the time (one week instead of six,) at no expense to quality.

At the end of this process, all of the sediment will have collected in the bottle neck, which is now ready for the next stage: disgorgement.

 A sure touch providing the wine with its desired limpidity  A sure touch providing the wine with its desired limpidity