Is champagne just sparkling wine

What is the difference between sparkling wine and champagne?

The decisive difference between sparkling wine and champagne lies in the origin and production. Champagne always comes from Champagne, the northernmost wine-growing region in France. The production takes place according to strict specifications - the champagne must be produced according to the "méthode champenoise" and the bottle must be closed with a natural cork. Sparkling wine from other regions that has been produced according to the same guidelines may not be marketed as champagne, as it is a protected designation of origin.

A crucial difference between sparkling wine and champagne is the fermentation process. In both products, the carbon dioxide comes from the second fermentation of the base wine. With champagne, however, the second fermentation must take place in the bottle and then mature in it for at least 15 months. That makes it particularly fine-pearled. Sparkling wine is often produced during fermentation in large tanks and ages for nine months. Second fermentation in the bottle is not mandatory.

In addition, only certain grape varieties may be used in the production of champagne and only harvested by hand: Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay. This means that winemakers have more freedom when producing sparkling wine. There are German types of sparkling wine that are on a par with champagne in terms of quality, but do not enjoy the same prestige. In France, too, champagne has equal competition: the Crémant. But it also has the "flaw" that it does not come from Champagne.