Méthode Traditionnelle (Méthode Champenoise)

Méthode Traditionnelle (a.k.a. Méthode Champenoise) [pronunciation: me-tod tra-di-syo-nel, me-tod shem-pen-wah]

Méthode traditionnelle is a winemaking method used for producing sparkling wines, where the secondary fermentation takes place in the bottle. This traditional method involves adding a mixture of yeast and sugar (liquer de tirage) to the base wine, allowing a second fermentation to occur, resulting in the formation of bubbles. The wine is then aged on its lees, contributing to its complexity and character. This method is known for producing fine bubbles and a range of flavors and aromas.

The term “Méthode Champenoise” was originally associated with Champagne production, as it was the traditional method used in the Champagne region of France. However, to protect the geographical indication and the term “Champagne,” the European Union ruled that only sparkling wines produced in the Champagne region could be labeled as such and use the term “Méthode Champenoise.” As a result, sparkling wines produced outside the Champagne region but made using the same traditional method are referred to as “Méthode Traditionnelle.” This term is commonly used for sparkling wines produced in other regions of France and in various countries around the world. Both terms describe the same winemaking technique, where the secondary fermentation takes place in the bottle, resulting in the characteristic fine bubbles and complex flavors found in traditional method sparkling wines.

Read more about this complex process in our article How Champagne is Made– Breaking Down the Intricacies of Méthode Champenoise.

See also: Charmat Method, Crémant, Pétillant Naturel
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