The traditional method used to produce sparkling wine in Champagne is used around the world. Other methods can be employed in sparkling wine production, such as transfer or the Charmat methods, but the traditional method is the most well regarded, just as Champagne is the most lauded sparkling wine.
The method used to make sparkling wine in Champagne is referred to as méthode champenoise
. This method is used in making sparkling wines all over the world, but tends to be referred to as the traditional method or méthode traditionelle
in order to avoid confusion between Champagne and other sparkling wines.Crémant
Sparkling wine made in French regions other than Champagne, including Crémant de Bourgogne, Crémant de Loire, Crémant de Alsace, Mousseux, etc., are all made in the méthode traditionelle. Other Regions
Cava from Spain is one example of sparkling wine made in the traditional method, but cava is made with different grapes; Xarel-lo, Macabeo and Parellada. These grapes produce a wine that tastes very different from Champagne.
In Germany, the best Sekt, or sparkling wine, is made in the traditional method, but most are made by the Charmat method in vat. Australia, NZ and CA all make a wide range of quality sparkling wines using several methods.
Traditionally, Lambrusco, from Italy’s Emilia Romagna region was also made using the traditional method, but in the past 30 years, many large-scale producers have relied on the Charmat system and some even use carbonation. Elsewhere in Italy, Prosecco is made with the Glera grape and the Charmat method resulting in an inexpensive, sweet sparkling wine.
Traditional method sparkling wines from California are referred to as CM/CV, or Classic Methods/Classic Varieties. Many California producers make sparkling wine using the traditional Champagne grapes, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier as well. These wines are regarded for their finesse and elegance.
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