Depending on the year, harvests are staggered over a period ranging from late August to early October. The three Champagne varieties, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Meunier are harvested exclusively by hand and quickly taken to the press rooms with the greatest care.Next step : Fermentation
After pressing and settling, the grape juice is placed in vats at a temperature of 18°C. Under the action of the selected yeasts and for a period of around two weeks, the sugars in the must transform into alcohol and carbon dioxide: this is known as “alcoholic fermentation”. This is followed by malolactic fermentation, which is achieved with the addition of selected bacteria from the Oenococcus oeni species, which transform malic acid into lactic acid, as well as giving the wine aromatic brioche and buttery notes and producing fruitier wines.Next step : Blending
The blend is the signature of a Champagne House. The Wine-Maker blends different crus to create wines that reflect the style and personality of the house. For Champagne Tsarine, our Wine-Maker, Isabelle Tellier, chooses a perfect balance of three Champagne varieties. This blend is composed of 75% wines from the current year and 25% wines from previous years, known as reserve wines.Next step : Tirage and “prise de mousse”
Elaboration Tirage and “prise de mousse”
Once the wines have been blended, they are bottled. Sugar and yeasts are added to produce a third fermentation and make the wines sparkle: this is known as the “prise de mousse”.Next step : Riddling and Storage
Elaboration Riddling and Storage
After a long period of maturation, a deposit of residual yeasts must be removed to ensure the wine is clear. The bottles are gradually turned and tilted downwards to bring the deposit into the neck of the bottle. Wine-Maker Isabelle Tellier chooses to age Cuvée Tsarine Premium Brut for 18 months and our vintage champagnes for 48 months.Next step : Disgorging
“Disgorging” is the removal of the deposit that has accumulated in the neck of the bottle. There are two methods: the traditional “à la volée” – by hand – or “à la glace”. The latter consists of plunging the neck of the bottle into a solution at -25°C, which causes the deposit to freeze. It is then removed through the pressure of the gases released when the bottle is opened.Next step : Dosage and corking
Elaboration Dosage and corking
This is the point at which sugar is added in the form of liqueur, to produce an extra brut (between 0 and 6 g/l), a brut (less than 12 g/l) or a demi-sec (between 32 and 50 g/l). After the dosage, the bottle is corked.
After the dosage, the bottle is corked. The cork is squeezed into the neck of the bottle, then covered with a cap and a muselet” or wire cage. Although the cork is watertight, oxygen can still pass through it, allowing the wine to develop.
As well as decorating the bottle and adding an aesthetic touch, the label tells wine lovers from around the world about the provenance of this nectar and flies the flag for Champagne Tsarine.