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The vinification of Champagne

The wine-making process

Nowadays wine making is a "great art" and requires a great deal of rigour. If we are not very careful, we may suffer serious disappointment with considerable consequences in terms of the quality of the champagne.

As soon as the grapes have been crushed, they are treated to prevent the juice from oxidising so that the must can be thinned. This operation takes around ten hours. After this initial operation, the juices are drawn off into the other vats so that the alcohol fermentation can begin. In order to ensure the success of the wine-making process, a large number of vats with various volumes must be used in order to separate the vine juices (chardonnay, pinot noir, pinot meunier) and possibly even the different vineyard areas.

The wine-making process - Champagne lignier Moreau

We use dried yeast, sugar and natural phosphates in the alcohol fermentation process. After the yeast has been rehydrated, it is poured into the vat. The chemical reaction then transforms the sugar into alcohol. This reaction lasts for eight to ten days at constant temperatures of between 18 and 20°C in order to preserve the aromas. Outside these ranges, the yeast may die and result in poor fermentation. When the reaction is complete, the wine is drawn off once again to ensure that the produce remains clear. From this point onwards, the vats must always remain full to prevent any contact with the main enemy of the wine-making process: air.

A second fermentation known as malo-lactic fermentation takes place a few weeks later. We create a "leaven" from ferment which we verify by means of analyses in order to obtain an optimum amount of bacteria. We then remove a specific percentage of this "leaven" which we place in the vat so that the bacteria transform the malic acid into lactic acid. This natural process slightly reduces the acidity of the wine and makes it suppler and more stable. This second stage lasts for three to four weeks with temperatures of 15 to 16°C. The wine is drawn off once again and is very clear. From this point onwards we stabilise the temperatures between 6 and 8°C.

Blending

As far as Lignier Moreau champagnes are concerned, we allow the wine to rest for two to three months before creating the blends. This is an important moment as we harvest the fruits of several months of work and discover the aromas and quality of our future champagnes. For the blends, we sample all the wines from all the vats including the reserve wines and select those which will be used partially or totally in the composition of our champagnes. On this basis, a certain percentage is established according to each vat and the blend determines the final product to guarantee continuity and quality from the previous years.

Blending - Champagne lignier Moreau

High-quality wines will become vintages or prestigious champagnes which are subsequently refined. Once they have been bottled, the wines are placed in storage for a minimum of fifteen months and three years for vintages before they are launched on the market. In our vineyard we have three years of advance stock prior to commercialisation in order to maintain our sole aim of guaranteeing the quality of Lignier Moreau Champagne.


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