Between harvesting and bottling


Débourbage en Champagne

Preparing the juice for fermentation

The clusters of grapes have just been pressed. The juice extracted flows into an open tank called a "belon". At this point, a small amount of sulphur dioxide (SO2) is added: this is known as sulphuring. Sulphites have antiseptic and antioxidant properties. They can also inhibit the growth of certain unwanted bacteria and moulds. That way they safeguard the sensory qualities of wines.

Next comes the clarification stage, referred to as "débourbage". This refers to the settling of the freshly pressed grape juice, during which any fragments of skin, pips and other sediment settles at the bottom of the vat. The purpose is to send clear juice to the fermentation stage in order to obtain wines with the purest expression of fruit.

After 12 to 24 hours, the clear juice is then drawn off. After clarification, the clarified musts are transferred to the "cuverie" (the room containing the fermenting vats) to commence the first stages of fermentation.

 Ready for vinification  Ready for vinification