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Champagne

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The Champagne wine region is the closest wine region to Paris and the home of one of the world’s most prestigious sparkling wines, Champagne. Champagne has a cool, continental climate that keeps the sugar levels in the grapes very low as well as keeping acid levels in the grapes quite high. This is why Champagne is ideal for sparkling wine production. In addition, the soils in Champagne are chalky,  which enables good drainage and good water retention, depending on the seasons. The three most well known sub regions of Champagne are; Montagne de Reims, Vallée de la Marne and the Côte de Blanc. The three grapes varieties that are used in Champagne wine making are; Chardonnay (which provides acidity, floral and citrus characters), Pinot Noir (which provides the structural backbone and red fruit character) and Pinot Meunier (which provides lively fruit flavours). Champagne must be made in the traditional method,  whereby the grapes are handpicked. Non-vintage wines must be aged for 15 months, including 12 months on lees. Vintage wines must be aged for 36 months. Vintage Champagne is only made in the best years whereas non-vintage Champagne is blend of the best wines from each year.

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