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After dosage comes final corking, followed by ‘poignettage’ (vigorous shaking of the bottle) and ‘mirage’ (inspection to check the wine’s limpidity). The wine is then returned to the cellar to age in bottle for several months before release.
The bottle is sent for corking immediately after dosage. Today’s corks have a base section made of reconstituted cork granules, topped by two slices of natural cork. The section that comes into contact with the wine is known as the ‘miroir’ (mirror). The cork must display the name of the Champagne Appellation and state the vintage where relevant.
The cork is squeezed into the neck of the bottle, covered with a protective metal cap (capsule), then held in place with a ‘muselet’ (wire cage) to make an airtight seal.
This new cork, like its plastic predecessor, does allow for some exchange with the outside air, which is why the wine continues to age over the years.
The bottle is then shaken vigorously (what’s known as ‘poignettage’) so that the dosage liqueur marries perfectly with the wine
The last procedure prior to further cellaring in preparation for release is ‘mirage’: a final check on the limpidity of the wine.