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Méthode traditionelle

Méthode Traditionnelle (also known as the traditional method) is a method of making sparkling wines, particularly those made in Champagne, France, but also used in other regions around the world such as Spain and Italy. It is the most traditional and widely used method for producing sparkling wines and the one used for Champagne. The method consists of a two-step fermentation process: the primary fermentation, which converts the grape juice into wine, and the secondary fermentation, which produces bubbles.

The primary fermentation starts with crushing the grapes and adding yeast to ferment the juice into wine. The wine is then bottled along with a mixture of wine, sugar, and yeast called the “liqueur de triage” to start the secondary fermentation. This fermentation produces carbon dioxide, which is trapped in the bottle, creating bubbles. The wine is then aged for several months or even years, on its lees, which are the dead yeast cells, before the final step called disgorging. The wine is then topped off with a dosage, or a mixture of wine and sugar, and sealed with a cork.

The traditional method allows the wine to gain complexity, aromas and character through the aging on the lees, and the disgorging process allows to remove the sediment, making the wine more clear and elegant. The final dosage also allows the winemaker to adjust the final sweetness level of the wine.

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