Crémant [pronunciation: kre-mohn]
Crémant is a term used to designate sparkling wines produced in specific regions of France outside of Champagne. These wines are also made using the traditional method of secondary fermentation in the bottle. Crémant wines showcase regional expressions and offer a wide range of styles, flavors, and aromas, often providing excellent value for money compared to Champagne.
The Crémant designation can be found in various regions across France, including Crémant de Bourgogne, Crémant du Jura, and Crémant de Limoux. Unlike Champagne, which primarily uses three grape varieties (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier), the Crémant designation allows a wider range of grape varieties, which vary based on the specific region. For example, Crémant d’Alsace often includes grapes like Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, and Riesling, while Crémant de Loire may incorporate Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Franc, or Sauvignon Blanc.
Crémant production also allows for more flexibility, such as a slightly lower bottle pressure (usually 3.5 to four atmospheres instead of the standard six in méthode Champenoise).